Independent Spirit Awards The Artist

February 27, 2012 by staff 

Independent Spirit Awards The Artist, Silent movie romance The Artist on Saturday won four Independent Spirit Awards, the year’s top honors among movies made outside Hollywood’s major studios, including best film and director in a prelude to the Oscars.

The Artist, a black-and-white movie from French writer and director Michel Hazanavicius, also picked up Spirit Awards for its star Jean Dujardin, who portrays an actor whose career collapses with the advent of the talkies, in the best actor category and Guillaume Schiffman for cinematography.

The film’s makers arrived in Los Angeles directly from Friday’s Cesar honors in France, and had to be brought to the Spirit Awards from the airport with a police escort. But they shrugged off any jet lag to happily accept their awards.

“Physically it’s tiring, but the energy is so good you don’t really feel tired,” Hazanavicius told reporters backstage about the current awards season in Hollywood and around the world.

About Sunday’s Academy Awards, the world’s top film honors, he admitted a touch of “stage fright… (An Oscar) is something that we have had in our eyes for a long time, so I can’t say I’m super cool.

“But today, this is important too,” Hazanavicius added, pointing to his Spirit Award. “This means a lot because it (‘The Artist’) is a small movie. It’s not expensive.”

The nearest rival to The Artist for Spirit Awards was family drama The Descendants, which claimed two honors: best screenplay for Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash; and best supporting actress for Shailene Woodley.

The Spirit Awards are given out by Los Angeles-based, non-profit group Film Independent, and are widely considered among the top trophies for low-budget and art house movies.

They come a day before the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences gives out the Oscars, where Artist and Descendants square off for best film alongside seven other movies.

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