The Independent Spirit Awards recognize 'Past Lives' as the best film of the year | Culture


Not in Hollywood, not at night, not at a gala, not with a red carpet, much less with Scorsese or Barbenheimer. The independent film awards, the Independent Spirit, which considered Past Lives As the best film of the year, they are made of a different material, as independent as their name suggests. To qualify for them, the maximum budget of a film must be 20 million dollars, and not only the winners, but the categories are very different from those of other installments. Some awards have up to nine nominees, others just 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 ephemeral tents erected next to the beach in Santa Monica, relaxed and full of laughter and applause. It was not difficult to see actresses barefoot in the middle of the gala, or actors drinking coffee with sunglasses between awards. “If you're an actress who wears her own shoes in the movie, that's indie, dear. And when there is solidarity between members of the writers' and actors' unions, that is indie“Honey,” the comedian joked. Aidy Bryantthe host of the Independent Spirit, in her speech.

After the night of the actors' union awards, which were more demanding, those on Sunday were festive and light. Independents. Will Ferrell arrived on the blue carpet in a suit and sneakers; Anne Hathaway in a sequin jumpsuit. The Spanish film team Upon Entry Its directors, Alejandro Rojas and Juan Sebastián Vásquez, and its protagonist, Alberto Ammann, were dressed elegantly, in suits and without ties, and its actresses, Bruna Cusí and Laura Gómez, in long dresses. And everyone happy, smiling. They seemed surprised, “like being in a movie,” they said, to see themselves surrounded by stars and walking through the gala. Its three nominations ultimately did not become awards: it won for best first screenplay. Secrets of a scandalin better edition How to dynamite an oil pipeline and in best new film, Thousand and one.

The team of the Spanish film 'Upon Entry' on the carpet at the 2024 Spirit Awards, on February 25, 2024 in Santa Monica (California). From left to right Juan Sebastián Vásquez, Laura Gómez, Alejandro Rojas, Alberto Ammann and Bruna Cusí.M. Porcel

Past lives, he obtained the awards for best film and best direction, for Celine Song. In addition to Da'Vine Joy Randolph, for Those who stayin the cast, the best performance went to Jeffrey Wright, the frustrated and cheating writer of American Fiction: “We wanted to delve into this story in a personal way, but also laugh, without fear. It is great to be recognized, it has been a long season, but it shows interest in our work,” she thanked the press. Dominic Sessa, the moody student of Those who stay, won for best new performance. “This film has changed my life, Alexander Payne has changed my life,” he thanked, excited.

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

Celine Song past lives
Celine Song and her team collect the award for best film for 'Lives Past' at the Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, California, on February 25, 2024.MARIO ANZUONI (REUTERS)

Secrets of a scandal won best first screenplay; in best script went to American Fiction. Kaouther ben Hania, director of The four daughters, winner and now candidate for the Oscar for best documentary, stated in the press room that with awards like this “they show that all stories are universal.” The award for best first film went to Thousand and one, the one with the best edition for How to dynamite an oil pipeline and the best photography for Those who stay.

The John Cassavetes Award, for the best film costing less than a million dollars, went to Fremont, written and directed by Babak Jalali, which portrays the life of Donya, a lonely twenty-something Afghan immigrant who works as a translator in a small California town and whose boring life changes when she begins to write the messages that go inside fortune cookies. . The Robert Altman Award for the entire cast went to the story of a sculptor Showing Upwhich stars Michelle Williams and which passed through Cannes in 2022.

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

As for series, there are few categories, and they tied The Last of Us and Row. The first won the award for best supporting actor in a new series (Nick Offerman) and best discovery in acting in a new series (which went to little Keivonn Montreal Woodard, 11 years old). The second triumphed in the best performance, for the highly awarded Ali Wong, and the best new series. The best distribution was for Jury Duty (The jury). The five-episode documentary series Dear Mom (can be seen on Disney+/Hulu), which reviews the life of the late rapper Tupac Shakur and his mother, activist Afeni Shakur, emerged as the winner in its category.

The presenter Aidy Bryant, the presenter of the Independent Spirit, made it clear and with good emphasis in her opening speech: “These awards can only be held in the United States, where 20 million dollars is a trifle.” He was not lacking in reason. Compared to the giants of American cinema, the projects that win 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, between 10 and 15 million per chapter. The next and last stop will be March 10, already at the Oscars.

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