1708910499 The Spirit Awards honor Past Lives as the best film

The Spirit Awards honor “Past Lives” as the best film of the year | Culture

Not in Hollywood, not at night, not at a gala, not on a red carpet, especially not with Scorsese or Barbenheimer. The independent film awards, the Spirit Awards, which named “Past Lives” the best film of the year, are made of a different material and are as independent as their name suggests. To qualify for it, a film's maximum budget must be $20 million, and not only the winners but also the categories are very different from other awards. Some have up to nine nominees, others only three; There is no separation between female and male interpretation; new films are awarded in many categories. The atmosphere is also different: in the morning in some short-lived tents set up right on Santa Monica beach, relaxed and full of laughter and applause. It wasn't hard to see actresses barefoot in the middle of the gala or actors drinking coffee in sunglasses between awards ceremonies. “If you're an actress who wears her own shoes in the film, then that's indie, darling. And if there's solidarity between members of the writers' and actors' unions, then that's indie, darling,” joked comedian Aidy Bryant, host of The Spirit, in her speech.

After the actors' union awards night, which was more demanding, Sunday was festive and relaxed. Independents. Will Ferrell appeared on the blue carpet in a suit and sneakers; Anne Hathaway in a sequin jumpsuit. The crew of the Spanish film Upon Entry was elegant: the directors Alejandro Rojas and Juan Sebastián Vásquez, the protagonist Alberto Ammann wore suits and no tie, and the actresses Bruna Cusí and Laura Gómez wore long dresses. And everyone is happy and smiling. They seemed surprised, “like in a movie,” they said, as they watched them walk through the gala surrounded by stars. Whether they won or not, they would undoubtedly celebrate. His three nominations ultimately did not become awards: Secretos de un escandalo won for best first screenplay, How to Dynamite an Oil Pipeline won for best editing, and A Thousand and One won for best new film.

More informationThe team of the Spanish film “Upon Entry” on the carpet at the Spirit Awards 2024, on February 25, 2024 in Santa Monica, California.  From left to right Juan Sebastián Vásquez, Alberto Ammann, Laura Gómez, Alejandro Rojas, Alberto Ammann and Bruna Cusí.The team of the Spanish film “Upon Entry” on the carpet at the Spirit Awards 2024, on February 25, 2024 in Santa Monica, California. From left to right Juan Sebastián Vásquez, Alberto Ammann, Laura Gómez, Alejandro Rojas, Alberto Ammann and Bruna CusÃ.M. porcelain

In the film section, “Past Lives” did a double with awards for best film and best director for Céline Song. “I feel very lucky, Past Lives would never have existed without this entire team, they believed in us,” she smiled, surrounded by her people. Joining Da'Vine Joy Randolph in the Tears Who Remain cast, best performance went to Jeffrey Wright, the frustrated and betrayed author of American Fiction: “We wanted to engage with these stories in a personal way, but also .” laugh without being afraid of this conversation because there is nothing to fear. That's why we did it. It has a beautiful script and a great group of actors. This is the true gratitude that this story was so well received. Maybe we can reach a larger audience with this. “It's great to be recognized, it's been a long season, but it shows interest in our work,” he calmly thanked the press. Dominic Sessa, the moody Those Who Remain alum, won best new performance. “This film changed my life, Alexander Payne changed my life,” he expressed his gratitude.

There were classics of the season who won the award, such as Joy Randolph, who has not lost one in these months and whose Oscar already has her name engraved. Justine Triet was crowned again as an international film with “Anatomy of a Fall,” which has five Oscar nominations (but not for the international film; France did not select it).

Celine song past livesCeline Song and her team accept the Best Picture award for “Past Lives” at the Independent Spirit Awards on February 25, 2024 in Santa Monica, California. MARIO ANZUONI (Portal)

“Secrets of a Scandal” won best first screenplay; Best Screenplay went to American Fiction. Kaouther ben Hania, director of “The Four Daughters,” winner and current Oscar nominee for best documentary, said in the press room that awards like these “show that all stories are universal.” The award went to best first film to One Thousand and One, the award for best editing went to How to Dynamite an Oil Pipeline and the award for best photography went to Those Who Stay.

The John Cassavetes Award for best film costing less than a million dollars went to “Fremont,” written and directed by Babak Jalali, which follows the life of Donya, a lonely Afghan immigrant in her 20s who works as a translator in a… Small town California worker whose boring life changes when he starts writing the messages contained in fortune cookies. The Robert Altman Prize for the entire cast went to the story of a sculptor “Showing Up,” starring Michelle Williams, which screened at Cannes in 2022.

Kaouther Ben Hania wins the Best Documentary Award for “The Four Daughters” at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, held on February 25, 2024 in Santa Monica, California.Kaouther Ben Hania wins the Best Documentary Award for “The Four Daughters” at the Film Independent Spirit Awards held in Santa Monica, California, February 25, 2024.MARIO ANZUONI (Portal)

As far as series go, there are only a few categories and they coincide with two “The Last of Us” and “Bronca”. The first emerged winner, honoring both Best Supporting Actor in a New Series (Nick Offerman) and Best Acting Discovery in a New Series (which went to little Keivonn Montreal Woodard, 11 years old). The second won for best performance, for the high-priced Ali Wong and for best new series. Best Cast went to Jury Duty. The five-part documentary series “Dear Mama” (viewing on Disney+/Hulu), which chronicles the lives of late rapper Tupac Shakur and his mother, activist Afeni Shakur, emerged as the winner in its category.

Moderator Aidy Bryant, the presenter of the Spirit Awards, made it clear and emphatic in her opening speech: “These awards can only be given in the United States, where $20 million is a small thing.” He was not without reason. Compared to the giants of American cinema, the projects that receive independent film awards are small… considering that the budget of films like Those Who Stay is 16 million dollars and that of series like The Last of Us is between 10 and 10 million dollars and 15 million per chapter. “This is a healthy business for both the ego and the soul,” Bryant said, “and under that tent there are great writers, visionary directors and legendary actors, or as an anonymous executive would say, useless content pigs .” “Could be replaced by computers,” he joked. While that happens, there is still time to continue celebrating. The next and last stop will be March 10th, already at the Oscars.


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