Saturday, February 21, 2009

Indie Spirits ~ Live Blogging

5:00 PM Mickey Rourke (a lot more on him if you scroll down), Kerry Washington, Taraji P Henson, John Malkovich, Darren Aronofsky, Debra Winger, Rosemarie DeWitt... lots of famous faces flashing at us, some of them probably trying desperately not to think about the Oscars tomorrow. Ben Stiller is talking at us to introduce our host Steve Coogan (Tropic Thunder, Hamlet 2). Why is it that I think Stiller is so funny when he's playing himself and not so funny in actual movie roles? Jokes about "most of us haven't seen these films"... why do I get so much flak for suggesting Hollywood types don't watch all the nominated movies and yet, they themselves joke about it constantly. (sigh) He's joking about how the Oscars are orgies of backpatting for beautiful people. At the indie spirits they're beautiful on the inside instead. People don't seem to think this joke is funny. Neither does the cameraman because they cut to Aaron Eckhart and Jenny Lumet (both classically beautiful, neither apparently amused)

...and then he's on to talking about Penélope Cruz and making lesbian jokes. Weird segueway.

5:10 Jonathan Demme is wearing an orange t-shirt. For a second I thought it had Obama's face stencilled on it. The face being inescapable. Even when we're celebrating movies.

5:20 Best Supporting Actor goes to James Franco for Milk. Haaz Sleiman does not win but you can't really types "loses" when the subject looks like this...

<--- (yeah, like that)
Best First Screenplay goes to Dustin Lance Black for Milk, beating Jenny Lumet for Rachel Getting Married (it's going to be a Milk day obviously. But then the Indie Spirits usually end up sucking up to one of the main Oscar nominees. Last year it was Juno for everything). Black gets political and says we can't wait 30 more years for equal civil rights for gay and lesbian citizens. It'll be awesome at the Oscars to hear this spoken aloud (since he'll win there, too).

5:30 First Feature goes to Charlie Kauffman for Synecdoche New York. He thinks "best" is "crap"... I think that's a nod to his competitors but the speech is kind of jumbled so who knows. The speech is not circular or full of allusions or depressing or, in short, anything like his movies.

5:32 Best Supporting Actress goes to Penélope Cruz for Vicky Cristina Barcelona. She's the only Oscar nominee in this lineup so winning the Oscar isn't the same battle at all. But her speech (she hasn't prepared one is really fun) and I love the story about Woody Allen actually leaving the set to see his dermatologist (new freckle discovery) on the day she was making out with Scarlett Johansson. Debra Winger loves this story too. It's nice to see her laugh. I love that Misty Upham (Frozen River) is all dressed up. At the Spirits!

5:45 John Cassavetes Award goes to ??? I forgot already. This is the type of movie one senses the Indie Spirits exist for. But if they didn't include all the Hollywood stuff nobody would watch the show.

5:55 No fair. No song to introduce Rachel Getting Married. Just a song from the movie.

6:00 Documentary goes to Man on Wire. Shortest speech of the night. Basically 'thanks'. It was presented by Batman and a fake Joaquin Phoenix. Kinda funny but I have to admit --you miss a lot when you live blog. I don't even know who that was making the Bale "we're done professionally" jokes. How fresh!

6:05 Melissa Leo wins Best Actress for Frozen River. Rachel Getting Married is going to lose everything but great films are their own reward. I'm watching this show with two friends one says "She made her dress from the Golden Girls couch!" The other says "She looks like a Relief Society President" You'll get that if you're Mormon but otherwise you're out of luck. But maybe you know enough about Mormons to know. They're taking over. Mormon raised at least: Amy Adams, Aaron Eckhart, Eliza Dushku, Dustin Lance Black. They're everywhere! When I was a wee tyke the only celebrities who were "a little bit" Mormon (past or present) were Donnie & Marie.

at some point in this presentation Teri Hatcher did a really disturbing "Bitch is Back" number celebrating Wendy & Lucy. I don't think Michelle Williams knew what to make of it but since she isn't exactly a "loud" actor or a "loud" personality it's anyone's guess what she was feeling.

6:11 Some woman won some award. That's all I know. See what I mean about missing things while live-blogging. She's from Seattle. There's some specificity for you!

6:15 I want this to be over.

6:something or other Rosie Perez is presenting something and says 'I hate Penélope Cruz.' I love Rosie Perez. Why doesn't Hollywood?

The Class won foreign film. Yay! So I got to see my silver medal director Laurent Cantet.

6:30 Cinematography goes to Maryse Alberti for The Wrestler. Director Darren Aronofsky accepts. I love that he always says "I'm Darren". For a brilliant auteur he sure doesn't waste a lot of time selling himself. Could you imagine M Night Shyamalan's trademark intro being "Hi, I'm M"?

6:32 Cameron Diaz gives the Robert Altman Award for to Synecdoche New York. Great cast that movie had. I just wish someone else had directed it. I love Kauffman's writing but I feel like his writing is too self-devouring for the same person who dreamt it up and wrenched it out of its creative womb to also try and visualize it. Just my take. Obviously, others disagree.

6:38 Rainn Wilson does a musical number for The Wrestler. I shan't torture you with a photo but Darren Aronofsky and Rachel Weisz find it amusing.

6:42 Laura Dern THE FACE presents Best Actor which goes to Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler. I don't know if y'all checked that link the other day about "hair" and Oscar winners but if he wins tomorrow he'll be only the second Best Actor winner ever to win for a long haired role (the only other one was Jon Voight in Coming Home. His speech is on fire and it's spreading. It starts with a tribute to another 80s up and comer who never quite became what he was supposed to become (Eric Roberts -- Julia's brother, yes -- last seen in The Dark Knight) and I have to agree with him there. Someone give Eric another great role. If you've seen Bob Fosse's Star 80 you'll understand Mickey's shout out.

This might be the craziest longest most train-of-thought speech since Ally Sheedy won for High Art.

Update: Here is the whole thing...

To Darren Aronofsky ,who is worried about actors being scared away from working with him because of Mickey's story about how "tough" Darren is:
If they aint got the balls to bring it, then fuck 'em
He's crazy. He totally gets the room going. He cracks Laura Dern and Philip Seymour Hoffman up. He scandalizes Anne Hathaway with a story about wrestler's "banging chicks in the ass in the bathroom". Well done Mickey. This is what the Indie Spirits live for.

6:53 John Waters and quirk queen Zooey Deschanel make jokes about inflated budgets on these so called "indies". It's mildly amusing.

6:54 Tom McCarthy wins Best Director of The Visitor. He's worried about following Mickey Rourke. No kidding. I love this guy although I wish the beard would go. He thanks "Dickie Jenkins" Hee. Richard seems very happy for him. And this also means more shots of Haaz.

6:59 Best Picture goes to The Wrestler. I'm happy for them. Darren... Just "Darren" please ... gets a full kiss from Mickey and the cheek kiss from his partner Rachel Weisz. Thank you. Darren calls The Wrestler a "Passion piece. We all bled to get here" It shows. Damn what a movie it is. I hope you've seen it by now. Twice. I'm not even that mad that Rachel Getting Married lost everything tonight. Because at least the awards went to fine films.

7:02 The End.


Michael B. said...

Is the laugh track pissing anybody else off?

And please bring back Sarah Silverman.

Michael B. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael B. said...

Here is who I voted for at the Awards btw, if anybody would like to know:

BEST FEATURE Rachel Getting Married
BEST DIRECTOR Jonathan Demme- Rachel Getting Married
BEST SCREENPLAY Woody Allen- Vicky Cristina Barcelona
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY Jenny Lumet- Rachel Getting Married
BEST FEMALE LEAD Anne Hathaway- Rachel Getting Married
BEST MALE LEAD Mickey Rourke- The Wrestler
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE Rosemarie DeWitt- Rachel Getting Married
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY Maryse Alberti- The Wrestler
BEST FOREIGN FILM The Class (France)

Anonymous said...

Coogan is a DUD.

18 how did you vote?

Anonymous said...


Michael B. said...

Taraji P. Henson was amazing singing for Ballast. THAT was a performance. Can't wait for The Wrestler and RGM songs...

Anonymous said...

Did anyone see Melissa Leo on The View ? She is a little full of herself.

Michael B. said...

A RGM shut out. Didn't get the love it deserved this awards season...

Anonymous said...

I transcribe something I wrote few days ago:

"If we consider from 1986 to 2008, we have only 2 Leading Actor Oscar winners (N. Cage & P. S. Hoffman, but Cage lost Spirit to Penn), 4 Leading Actress Oscar winners (G. Page, F. MacDormand, H. Swank & C. Theron), 2 Supporting Actor Oscar winners (Coburn & Arkin, but Coburn lost Indie to Murray in "Rushmore") and also 2 Supporting Actress Oscar winners (D. Wiest & M. Gay Harden, but Marcia lost Spirit Award to Ziyi Zhang).
BUT (here is the curiosity): these 10 Oscar winners won Oscar in 10 different years ('86, '95, '96, '97, '99, '00, '01, '04, '06 & '07). By the way Spirit Awards have never awarded more than one future Oscar winner in the same year (Or, we have to say, Indies never match with Oscar more than once in a year). Do you think this year will be different? Do you think Jenkins/Penn/Rourke and/or Hathaway/Leo and/or Cruz can repeat, two or three of them, at Oscars?"

Anonymous said...

Of course, I was talking about past Indies and Oscar winners.

For complete statistic, you can look this:

"Here are some facts about Spirit Awards matching Oscars:


Leading Actor (1)
2006: Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote)

Leading Actress (4)
1986: Geraldine Page (The Trip to Bountiful)
1997: Frances McDormand (Fargo)
2000: Hilary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry)
2004: Charlize Theron (Monster)

Supporting Actor (1)
2007: Alan Arkin (Little Miss Sunshine)

Supporting Actress (1)
1995: Dianne Wiest (Bullets over Broadway)


Leading Actor (1)
1996: Nicolas Cage (Leaving Las Vegas) lost Spirit Award to Sean Penn (Dead Man Walking)

Leading Actress (0)

Supporting Actor (1)
1999: James Coburn (Affliction) lost Spirit Award to Bill Murray (Rushmore), not nominated for Oscar

Supporting Actress (1)
2001: Marcia Gay Harden (Pollock) lost Spirit Award to Ziyi Zhang (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), not nominated for Oscar


Leading Actor (12, or 10 if you consider Jackson and Macy)
1987: James Woods (Salvador)
1989: Edward James Olmos (Stand and Deliver)
1995: Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction) nominated for Supp. Actor at Oscar
1996: Sean Penn (Dead Man Walking)
1997: William H. Macy (Fargo) nominated for Supporting at Oscar
1998: Robert Duvall (The Apostle)
1999: Ian McKellen (Gods and Monsters)
2000: Richard Farnsworth (The Straight Story)
2001: Javier Bardem (Before Night Falls)
2002: Tom Wilkinson (In the Bedroom)
2004: Bill Murray (Lost in Translation)
2007: Ryan Gosling (Half Nelson)

Leading Actress (10)
1988: Sally Kirkland (Anna)
1991: Anjelica Huston (The Grifters)
1996: Elisabeth Shue (Leaving Las Vegas)
1998: Julie Christie (Afterglow)
2001: Ellen Burstyn (Requiem for a Dream)
2002: Sissy Spacek (In the Bedroom)
2003: Julianne Moore (Far From Heaven)
2005: Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace)
2006: Felicity Huffman (Transamerica)
2008: Ellen Page (Juno)

Supporting Actor (7, or 9 if you consider also Jackson and Macy)
1988: Morgan Freeman (Street Smart)
1991: Bruce Davison (Longtime Companion)
1995: Chazz Palminteri (Bullets over Broadway)
2001: Willem Dafoe (Shadow of the Vampire)
2004: Djimon Hounsou (In America)
2005: Thomas Haden Church (Sideways)
2006: Matt Dillon (Crash)

Supporting Actress (7)
1992: Dianne Ladd (Rambling Rose)
1999: Lynn Redgrave (Gods and Monsters)
2000: Chloë Sevigny (Boys Don’t Cry)
2004: Shohreh Aghdashloo (House of Sand and Fog)
2005: Virginia Madsen (Sideways)
2006: Amy Adams (Junebug)
2008: Cate Blanchett (I’m Not There)


Leading Actor (7, or 6 if you discount Dafoe)
1987: Willem Dafoe (Platoon), nominated in Supporting at Oscar
1988: Peter Fonda (Ulee’s Gold)
1999: Nick Nolte (Affliction)
2004: Ben Kingsley (House of Sand and Fog)
2006: Heath Ledger (Brokeback Mountain)
2006: David Strathairn (Good Night, and Good Luck)
2006: Terrence Howard (Hustle & Flow)

Leading Actress (5)
1991: Joanne Woodard (Mr & Mrs. Bridge)
2000: Janet McTeer (Tumbleweeds)
2001: Joan Allen (The Contender)
2001: Laura Linney (You Can Count on Me)
2004: Samantha Morton (In America)

Supporting Actor (0, or 1 if you count Dafoe because in 1986 and 1987 did not exist Supporting categories at ‘Indies’)

Supporting Actress (3)
1988: Ann Sothern (The Whales of August), lost Spirit Award to Anjelica Huston (The Dead), not nominated for Oscar
2004: Patricia Clarkson (Pieces of April)
2006: Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain)"

Anonymous said...

Melissa Leo looks so 1976 Oscars. Like Beatrice Straight or Piper Laurie.

adam k. said...

I'm starting to think Cruz will lose, even though there's no rationale. Indie Spirit curse, I guess? I refuse to predict it, since logic says she wins and Davis and Adams cancel themselves out - supporting actress double nominees always do unless one is an awards steamroller with the obviously superior role (like CZJ in Chicago) - but I'm still worried. Bardem not being at the oscars is very strange indeed.

I'm also still predicting Penn, although it seems like a risky/unsafe bet now. I really think it's the kind of performance that would win the oscar while losing the spirit award. And I'm banking on the fact that all those noms for Milk mean its most highly regarded element is going to win.

I think Winslet is pretty safe, though.

Billy Held An Oscar said...

WOW - I cannot wait to see what Melissa Leo wears tomorrow night !!!!

Frozen Fashion Disaster.

Cluster Funk said...

Katherine Heigl is also a (former) Mormon. We make pretty & talented babies, what can I say?! ;-)

Anonymous said...

I think Bardem will not attend Oscar anyway, and he didn't say it before for to protect Penelope's Oscar hopes. Everybody wants Bardem-Penelope moment. And Bardem & Penelope never attend together. Do you have some pic of both together? Look at VCB premiere and you'll see they didn't show anything about their private lives. I think Bardem want no responsibility about Penelope's win or lose.

gabrieloak said...

I wish Richard Jenkins had won tonight instead of Rourke.

Glenn said...

Oh man, so happy for Melissa Leo - although having just seen Rachel Getting Married today, I would've been super happy for Anne - and I suppose the Spirit curse will befall Rourke? That's what I'm predicting.

Emma said...

Sounds like a good night. The stars that attended were all depressingly beautiful.

Anonymous said...

No mention of the Cassavetes guy that said "I fucking love actors!" in every other line of his speech? That was the my second-favorite speech of the night! Nothing could top Mickey's speech though. That guy is insane. The censors will have a field-day with his speech if he wins tonight. I hope that the delay doesn't ruin his moment too much. The song send-ups were fun. Loved Rainn Wilson's bit. Steve Coogan's monologue ran way too long. The Bale/Phoenix send-up was fun. Who was the guy doing Bale? "Rachel Getting Married" should have won best feature. Fun night. Too bad the Oscars are going to be such a drag tonight.


styx... i actually loved that speech but as you can see from my liveblogging. i kept getting behind and distracted and then i forgot who he was and what his film was called.

Anonymous said...

You like Middle Eastern men.