No surprises at the Independent Spirit Awards

on the top American independent film ceremony

Last night’s Independent Spirit Awards, despite an impressive display of diversity amongst the nominees, ended up being largely free of any surprise wins. Most of the winners are nominated in tonight’s Oscar lineup: Black Swan took a few, as did Winter’s Bone and 127 Hours. Most uninspiring was the award for Best Foreign Film, which went to The King’s Speech – technically eligible because it was a UK production, but the least daring in a line-up that featured films as diverse as Ireland’s Kisses and the Moroccan/French production Of Gods and Men.

As an awards ceremony more noted for its more eclectic awards, they deserve a mention: Best First Feature was awarded to Get Low, the Robert Duvall and Bill Murray-starring story of a hermit who plans to have a “living funeral” in his hometown, and seems well-deserved. Elsewhere, indie comedy received the award for Best First Screenplay, and Best Screenplay went to The Kids Are All Right. All in all, considering that this ceremony has in the past served to highlight films that might not make the Oscar spotlight, it ended up being a mix of dull repetition and the occasional glimmer of fresh insight.

BEST FEATURE

Black Swan

BEST DIRECTOR

Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan

BEST SCREENPLAY

Stuart Blumberg, Lisa Cholodenko, The Kids Are All Right

BEST FEMALE LEAD

Natalie Portman, Black Swan

BEST MALE LEAD

James Franco, 127 Hours

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE

Dale Dickey, Winter’s Bone

BEST SUPPORTING MALE

John Hawkes, Winter’s Bone

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Matthew Libatique, Black Swan

BEST DOCUMENTARY

Exit Through the Gift Shop

BEST FOREIGN FILM

The King’s Speech

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