Independent Juno wins big at the Spirits

Independent Juno wins big at the Spirits
Independent Juno wins big at the Spirits

Jason Korsner, reporting from Los Angeles, captures the parts of
Angelina Jolie other paparazzi can’t reach

29 February 2008

The scene was the same as usual – a marquee on the beach at Santa Monica, California – but with strong winds and heavy rain, the weather was slightly less suited to the glitz and glamour of a beachside Hollywood celebrity get-together.

The day before the Oscars, the prestigious Independent Spirit Awards were dished out to the best low-budget films, as selected by members of the bodies that support America’s low-budget community, Film Independent and the IFP.

Down the road from Hollywood, a beachside tent was the venue for a more relaxed ceremony, which saw the host Rainn Wilson (from the American Office and with a small role in Juno) beating up Philip Seymour Hoffman â who was revealed to be (!) the love-child of Jane Seymour and Dustin Hoffman. That’s just to give you a flavour of the japes involved.

Ellen Page – lead actress winner for JunoBut when the serious business got under way, it was Juno that picked up many of the top honours, with Ellen Page scooping the Best Female Lead award, while former exotic dancer Diablo Cody picked up the prize for the best first screenplay and the film itself was voted the year’s best.

Director Jason Reitman missed out on the helmer’s prize, which went to Julian Schnabel, for his remarkable work on the Diving Bell and the Butterfly, telling the first-person story of a stroke victim who could move nothing more than one eye.

Another multiple award-winner was the Bob Dylan-based musical I’m Not There, which saw the unusual prospect of the best supporting actress prize going to someone who played a man â Cate Blanchett the deserving recipient. The cast as a whole picked up the Robert Altman Award for the best ensemble.

Tamara Jenkins won the best screenplay award for The Savages and her lead actor Philip Seymour Hoffman came out top in his category.

 Lead actress (for A Mighty Heart) nominee Angelina Jolie, with Brad PittThe Best Foreign Film was Ireland’s Once – the musical, or rather slight romantic dramedy about musicians – but almost without question, the biggest talking point of the night was the appearance of two of Hollywood’s biggest stars â Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, nominate for her role as the widow of the murdered American journalist Daniel Pearl in A Mighty Heart.

“Did anyone get a headshot of Angelina?” asked a disappointed photographer. “I only got her pregnant bump.” So, for the rest of the world’s paparazzi, check out our UKscreen exclusive!

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