Belfast Telegraph

Get Out scoops top honours at Independent Spirit Awards

The last four winners of the best feature at the Spirits went on to win the best picture Oscar the following day.

Get Out won best feature at the Film Independent Spirit Awards – an honour that has been followed by best picture success at the Oscars for the previous four winners.

The racism-tackling satire, starring Londoner Daniel Kaluuya, also earned Jordan Peele the best director award at the ceremony held in a tent on the Santa Monica beach on Saturday, a day ahead of the Academy Awards.

Oscars favourite The Shape Of Water failed to get a look in at the Spirits, however, despite its budget falling within the ceremony’s cap of around 20 million dollars (£14 million), which ruled out some of the other front-runners.

Backstage, Peele did not indicate any heightened expectations of Oscar success, saying: “We didn’t expect it, but this means so much. This is Saturday and tomorrow’s tomorrow.”

Previously, 12 Years A Slave, Birdman, Spotlight and Moonlight won at the celebration of independent cinema before triumphing the following day at the Oscars.

Frances McDormand won the best female Spirit Award for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, while 22-year-old Timothee Chalamet won best male for Call Me By Your Name.

Best supporting female and male went to I, Tonya’s Alison Janney and Sam Rockwell for Three Billboards, while best screenplay went to Greta Gerwig for Ladybird.

Accepting the top honour on stage, Peele said the film industry was undergoing a “renaissance”.

One, he said, “where stories from the outsider, stories from the people in this room, the same stories that independent film-makers have been telling for years, are being honoured and recognised and celebrated”.

He also urged film-makers to pursue the truth, which he said was what led him to make the hard-hitting movie after initially not planning to make such a statement.

“At some point I just followed the truth and I realised that there were people locked up for smoking less weed than I was smoking when I wrote the movie,” he said.

At a time when Hollywood is facing a reckoning over sexual misconduct and is being taken to task over its diversity issue, Chalamet said he had faith for a bright future.

“We’ve got a whole new wave, we’re going to be good, we’re going to be fine,” Chalamet said, praising rising stars such as Mudbound’s Dee Rees and Kaluuya.

Opening the show, hosts Nick Kroll and John Mulaney quickly took the celebration of independent cinema onto Hollywood’s ongoing crisis, calling out Harvey Weinstein, Louis CK and Kevin Spacey.

“Last year everyone famous died, this year everyone famous wishes they were dead,” Mulaney said.

They also had a dig at Donald Trump, as did Salma Hayek as she presented the best international film award to Chile’s A Fantastic Woman.

“This award has never gone to a shit hole nation – because there are no shit hole nations,” she said, referencing the US president’s reported slur on African nations.

The non-profit organisation Film Independent, comprising actors, film-makers and critics, selected the winners at the 33rd annual ceremony in California.


From Belfast Telegraph