Sunday, February 27, 2011

‘The Black Swan’ Owns Indie Spirit Awards

Natalie Portman won the best actress award for "The Black Swan" at the 26th Film Independent Spirit Awards. The actress is favored to win the best actress Oscar for her role as a ballerina gone mad. Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Jameson.

THE big winner at yesterday's 26th Film Independent Spirit Awards was “Black Swan." About a ballerina who takes method acting one pirouette too far, the film won in all four categories in which it was nominated, including Best Actress for Natalie Portman.

The spirit awards, for those scratching heads, recognizes outstanding achievement in independent films (indies). Yes, “Black Swan,” is an indie project, though it stars an A-list actor; ditto for “Winter’s Bone,” “The Kids Are All Right” and “127 Hours.” All four films are also nominated for best picture Oscars. The 83rd Annual Academy Awards ceremony airs tomorrow at 8:30 p.m. EST on ABC.

The spirit awards program is a rather laidback, dressed-down affair, and host Joel McHale ("The Soup") was witty and unobtrusive. The drama unfolded in Santa Monica, Calif. and aired last night at 10 EST on IFC. Along with Champagne, lots of Jameson Irish Whiskey was consumed. In the spirit – to use a word – of full disclosure, Jameson is the sponsor of an independent filmmaker grant (

The Best Actor winner was “General Hospital’s” James Franco for “127 Hours,” based on an incredible, changing/altering episode in the life of mountain climber Aron Ralston.

Ben Stiller, nominated in best actor category for "Greenberg," at the 26th Film Independent Spirit Awards. Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Jameson.

Major winners list:
Best Feature: “Black Swan”
Best Director: Darren Aronofsky, “Black Swan”
Best Screenplay: Stuart Blumberg, Lisa Cholodenko, “The Kids Are All Right”
Best Female Lead: Natalie Portman "Black Swan"
Best Supporting Female: Dale Dickey, “Winter’s Bone”
Best Male Lead: James Franco, “127 Hours”
Best Supporting Male: John Hawkes, “Winter’s Bone”
Best Cinematography: Matthew Libatique, “Black Swan”
Best First Screenplay: Lena Dunham, "Tiny Furniture"
Best First Feature: “Get Low” (recipient, director, Aaron Schneider, and producers David Gundlach and Dean Zanuck)
Best Documentary: “Exit Through The Gift Shop” (recipient, director Banksy)
Best Foreign Film: “The King’s Speech” (recipient director, Tom Hooper)
John Cassavetes Award (best feature made for under $500,000): “Daddy Longlegs” (written and directed by Benny Safdie and Josh Safdie and produced by Casey Neistat and Tom Scott)
Robert Altman Award: “Please Give” (recipients, director Nicole Holofcener, casting director Jeanne McCarthy and cast)
Someone To Watch Award: Mike Ott, “Littlerock"
Truer Than Fiction Award: Jeff Maimberg, “Marwencol”
Piaget Producers Award: Anish Savjani, “Meek’s Cutoff”

Visit http:// to learn more about the Film Independent Spirit Awards.

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