The 27th annual Independent Spirit Awards, presented by Film Independent, were dished out this afternoon in a tent by the beach in sunny Santa Monica. Comedian Seth Rogen hosted the ceremony, which brings together the best and brightest of the indie film community, past and present, for an Oscar-weekend celebration of the struggle that is independent filmmaking. While the event is known for being lots of fun (how many other awards shows encourage day-drinking?), it is not known for its prowess at predicting the Oscars (voting for which closes before the Spirits are dished out anyway).
Indeed, only one of the winners of the Spirit Awards’ top prize, best feature, has ever won the best picture Oscar, and that was 25 years ago (Platoon, 1986), and only 11 of the 100 performances that it has rewarded with acting prizes — 26 in each of the two lead categories and 24 in each of the two supporting categories — were subsequently recognized with Oscars in their respective categories: Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote, 2005) and Jeff Bridges (Crazy Heart, 2009) for best actor; Geraldine Page (The Trip to Bountiful, 1984), Frances McDormand (Fargo, 1996), Hilary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry, 1999), Charlize Theron (Monster, 2003), and Natalie Portman (Black Swan, 2010) for best actress; Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine, 2006) for best supporting actor; and Dianne Wiest (Bullets Over Broadway, 1994), Penelope Cruz (Vicky Cristina Barcelona, 2008), and Mo’Nique (Precious, 2009) for best supporting actress.
Most pundits, however, believe that this trend will be broken at tomorrow’s 84th Academy Awards — at least as far as the best picture, best actor, and best supporting actor Oscar races are concerned.