The Independent Spirit Awards are stereotyped as a drunken, casual, beachside soiree that takes place the day before the classy people step out for the Academy Awards. Hosted this year by 'SNL' funnyman Andy Samberg, who described the event as "the only show watched by more people in the room than on TV," the Spirit Awards lived up to its raunchy reputation.
Amy Poehler was on camera drinking directly from a large bottle of wine at her table, while John Hawkes stood up and threatened to drop his pants to the floor. Samberg worked his way through a plethora of penis jokes -– most notably observing that there has been a "real lack of on-screen d*ck in films this year. Everyone got d*ck shy."
Samberg went on to roast Hollywood in general with the catchphrase of the day: "F*ck you, Hollywood." He continued dryly, "you can take your 'Hangovers' and 'Hunger Games' and shove it up your ass. You know what I'm talking about, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence," he joked.
But there is no mistaking Hollywood's iron grip on the Indie Spirit Awards. David O. Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook," starring Cooper and Lawrence, dominated the afternoon –- and some seemed pretty grouchy about it. The comparatively low-budget "Beasts Of The Southern Wild," a crowd favorite, got very little love aside from winning the Best Cinematography award, while "Silver Linings Playbook" received four awards, for Best Screenplay, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Film.
It's the Harvey Weinstein touch (Weinstein, by the way, defined casual in jeans, a black t-shirt and sneakers). At last year's Indie Spirit Awards, Weinstein's two nominated films, "The Artist" and "My Week With Marilyn," took home half of the awards that afternoon. "The Artist" went on to win five Academy Awards the following day.
And so, if last year's Spirit Awards are any indication, we might already have a pretty good sense of who will be walking home with gold Sunday night at the Oscars. Eight of last year's winners were also Oscar nominees. More impressively, six of those eight went on to actually win Academy Awards the next day: "A Separation," Best Foreign Language Film; Christopher Plummer, Best Supporting Actor; "The Descendants, Best Adapted Screenplay; Michel Hazanavicius, Best Director; Jean Dujardin, Best Actor; and "The Artist," Best Picture.
The drunken afternoon quickly took on the air of a "Beasts Of The Southern Wild" versus "Silver Linings Playbook" match-up. As guests exited the white tent, basking in Southern California's golden sun, many were heard whispering about how "Beasts" was a more impressive film, especially given the fact that it was made for a miniscule $1.8 million, compared to the $21 million budget of "Silver Linings Playbook."
Maybe it’s the underdog syndrome, or the fact that many feel protective over a movie made by a 28-year old writer/director with a no-name cast and a breakout star, Quvenzhané Wallis, who was six years old during filming. "Silver Linings Playbook," meanwhile, starred Hollywood powerhouses, and director David O. Russell has been nominated for three Oscars so far.
Lawrence perhaps said it best in her acceptance speech for Best Female Lead for "Silver Linings Playbook." "I love being on that twentieth hour of free overtime, freezing. What's keeping you there isn't the money." One has to assume she was referring to her days in the Ozarks shooting "Winter's Bone," for which she was nominated for her first Oscar, and not "Silver Linings Playbook."
The Academy Awards are about twenty-four hours away, and those who believe that the Spirit Awards function as a debaucherous dress rehearsal for the Oscars might be kicking themselves if they marked "Argo" or "Lincoln" as Best Picture on their office Oscar ballots.
For a complete list of winners from the 2013 Independent Spirit Awards, click here.