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JLo Lost, Adam Sandler Won and ‘The Farewell’ Shocked

2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Show

Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images

The 35th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards saluted an array of winners that may probably be extra various in race and gender, extra adventurous artistically and fewer predictable than the winners at Sunday’s Academy Awards.

In the method, Spirit Awards voters nonetheless managed to depart the impression that they’d wish to be the Oscars and can solely accept being a real various when the nominations go away them no different alternative — proper up till the ultimate award of the afternoon, once they pulled an sudden transfer and selected “The Farewell” over Oscar nominee “Marriage Story” and three-time Spirit winner “Uncut Gems.”

Coming not lengthy after Zhao Shuzhen, the 85-year-old star of “The Farewell,” beat Jennifer Lopez within the Best Supporting Female class, the win put a wild spin on a present that till then had alternated between awarding Oscar nominees and saluting the Safdie brothers’ “Uncut Gems,” which gained three awards.

By giving its largest award to a heartwarming comedy over an Oscar nominee and a bracing indie sensation, voters made an odd however undeniably unbiased alternative. And it made indie distributor A24 the large winner of the evening, with three awards for “Uncut Gems,” two for “The Farewell” and two for “The Lighthouse.”

The solely different movie with a number of wins was “Marriage Story,” which gained the beforehand introduced Robert Altman Award and likewise took the screenplay prize.

The win for “The Farewell” ran towards virtually all the pieces that had occurred on the present as much as that time — as a result of till then, each Spirit Award that would have gone to an Oscar nominee, did. “Marriage Story” gained Best Screenplay,  Renée Zellweger gained Best Female Lead for “Judy,” “Parasite” gained Best International Film, “American Factory” gained Best Documentary, “The Lighthouse” gained Best Cinematography.

(One large query: If Jennifer Lopez had been nominated for Best Supporting Actress on the Oscars, as most individuals thought she could be for “Hustlers,” would Spirit Awards voters have felt compelled to vote for her slightly than “The Farewell” actress Zhao Shuzhen, who was the largest shock winner of the present? I’m guessing they might have.)

This is par for the course lately. The Spirit Awards solely matched the Oscar Best Picture winner as soon as in its first 26 years, however since then the winners have matched 5 instances in eight years. And the opposite thrice, Spirit Awards voters picked the closest factor they may get to an Oscar winner: Best Picture nominees “Silver Linings Playbook” in 2012 and “Get Out” in 2017, and three-time Oscar nominee “If Beale Street Could Talk” final 12 months, when not one of the Academy’s best-pic nominees landed of their ultimate 5.

But “The Farewell” was one thing totally different, particularly with Oscar nominee “Marriage Story” as one of many choices within the high class.

And it shifted the main focus of this Spirit Awards present from the one that attempted to be an Oscar rehearsal to 1 that contained such totally non-Oscary winners as Shuzhen for “The Farewell,” Adam Sandler for Best Leading Male in “Uncut Gems” and the Safdie brothers for Best Director, additionally for “Uncut Gems.”

Those classes, together with Best Feature, truly allowed the winners to hijack the Spirit Awards and switch it into an occasion with its personal character — not simply extra various and inclusive than the Oscars, however wilder and weirder, too. Anybody who was there or who watched it’ll keep in mind it not simply because the awards present the place “The Farewell” scored an upset victory, but in addition the one the place JLo didn’t win and Adam Sandler did, after which gave one of the vital uproarious speeches within the historical past of a present that has had…

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