Posted: 02/25/2012


2012 Spirit Awards Coverage

by Paul Fischer

The Spirit Awards 2012

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2012 Spirit Awards
Coverage by Paul Fischer in Santa Monica, California.

It’s a gorgeous day at the beach in Santa Monica California as this reporter prepares to cover the 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards. Yes we know about the Oscars but these awards are the fun cool and hip movie awards ├╝ber casual in which media and filmmakers alike gather under a big tent on the anta Monica beach waiting with perpetual anticipation as to who will win the various Spirit awards the best in independent cinema. And the race was similar to Sunday night’s Oscars. The Descendants vs The Artist. At least that’s what I expect before we begin. As I write this I am in the front row of the press tent watching the proceedings on a monitor with feverish anticipation. Host Seth Rogan got the ball rolling with many a quick quip and should host again. Politically incorrect. Hilarious. The
first award goes to Christopher Plummer for Beginners. And his wonderful speech. Plummer quipped backstage that all the crew on Beginners was gay.” He’s all class of course. Best first screenplay went to the brilliant 50/50. Writer Will Reiser backstage talked about the personal nature of the film and how it connected to audiences especially cancer patients. He said that “winning a spirit award was very special”, his next movie is inspired by his relationship with his grandmother. No title yet but he assured me it would have a title before it comes out.,
Best supporting actress went to Shailene Woodley from The Descendents. This young actress has seen her career out of control since costarring as the eldest daughter in the film. Backstage at the awards she told me about learning to be on her own as an 18 year old actress on the set of the film. And talking about connecting with her character she told me that it was all in the script. Her biggest causes are the environment and health. “I definitely didn’t expect it” she said about winning her Spirit Award. The actress is still working on her TV series with no future movies on the horizon,

Best Actor was a popular win for French actor Jean Dujardin, star of The Artist who was not present at the awards but he will be at Oscar night while best documentary went to the searing film The Interrupters.

The best screenplay went to The Descendants, a film that has been overlooked this awards season but not by critics and audiences. Backstage director and cowriter Alexander Payne

Best international film award was handed to the Iranian film, A Separation which may well win the Oscar tomorrow night.

Best first feature went to the brilliant Margin Call which won two awards this afternoon. Backstage producer and star Zachary Quinto talked about producing and confirmed to me that yes, Star Trek 2 is going “amazingly well”.

Best Actress was a popular win for the amazing Michelle Williams star of My Week with Marilyn. Backstage, Williams told me that had to put aside Marilyn’s iconic persona and “see her as just a girl”. She said she took her time preparing to play the legendary actress. Looking quite stunningly beautiful the actress was clearly loving her moment in the sun after finally winning here. “I’m the Susan Lucci of the Spirit Awards.”

And of course continuing its awards juggernaut winning for best film was The Artist which also won for best director, Michel Hazanavicius. The producer expressed surprise as how The Artist was received. He said the movie was always a tribute to American cinema and it was a dream come true making The Artist. Asked how exhausting it’s been to promote the film Hazanavicius said there are worse jobs you can do. Getting ready for the Oscars he talked about the prospect of being stage fright but how super cool it will be tomorrow night. Thus endeth the Spirit Awards for another year. Congratulations to the winners and Film Independent.


Paul Fischer is originally from Australia. Now he is an interviewer and film critic living in Hollywood.

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