The 32nd annual Spirit Awards were mostly owned by Moonlight, and oh, what a slog it was, realizing early on that Barry Jenkins‘ film would probably win every award it was nominated for — Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay (Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney), Best Cinematography (James Laxton) and Best Editing — and having to sit there and just take it. A fine, affecting, well-made film that obviously got through to a lot of people, and the karma was right and the stars were aligned. No problem.
Manchester By The Sea‘s Casey Affleck and Elle‘s Isabelle Huppert took Best Actor and Best Actress awards, but both were foretold. Hell or High Water‘s Ben Foster won for Best Supporting Male (no prob but I would’ve picked A Bigger Splash‘s Ralph Fiennes) and Molly Shannon‘s mom-dying-of-cancer performance in Other People won the Best Supporting Female trophy.
Quote from my 1.22.16 Other People Sundance review: “There’s already a consensus that Molly Shannon, who plays a spirited suburban mom dying of leiomyosarcoma, will be Best Actress-nominated for a Spirit or a Gotham Award.”
Robert Eggers‘ The Witch won for Best First Feature and Best First Screenplay. And the great O.J.: Made in America won for Best Documentary Feature.
Excerpt from a 2.2.17 HE piece called “Little Bitch”: “That handjob is a very big factor in Moonlight. It’s really ‘the’ factor when you think about it. A more complete title would have been Moonlight: Handjob On The Beach.” Quip from Spirit Awards co-emcee John Mulaney during today’s opening monologue: “Basically the Spirit Awards are a secret handjob on the beach, but enough about Moonlight.”
(l.) Moonlight costar Mahershala Ali with a couple of ladies; (far right, barefooted) American Honey star Sasha Lane.