Remember last year when Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire swept the Oscars, becoming the first... oh, no, wait, that didn't happen at all. That was the Film Independent Spirit Awards. They take place the day before the Oscars each year. And they take place in a tent. We don't know the square footage, but it’s safe to say that it’s got nothing on the Kodak Theater.
Generally speaking, the Spirit Awards are a looser, rowdier event. You can even wear jeans. As a group, they’re much more likely to honor African-American abuse dramas (Precious) or intimate character studies of "broken down pieces of meat" (The Wrestler) or teen pregnancy comedies (Juno) than the mainstream Academy is. In fact, in their entire 25-year shared history with the Oscars, the “Best Feature” and “Best Picture” prizes have only gone to the same film once.
...read the rest in my weekly Tribeca Film column.