March 6, 2010 in Nation/World

‘Precious’ takes away 5 Spirit Awards

Many winners also top Oscar contenders
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES – The Harlem drama “Precious” won five prizes Friday at the Spirit Awards honoring independent film, including best picture and trophies for stars Gabourey Sidibe and Mo’Nique and director Lee Daniels.

Sidibe won best actress Friday for “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,” playing an illiterate teen pulling herself out of an abyss of neglect and abuse. Mo’Nique earned the supporting-actress honor as the girl’s loathsome mother.

Jeff Bridges won best actor for the country-music tale “Crazy Heart” and Woody Harrelson won best supporting actor for the war-on-terror drama “The Messenger.”

All four acting winners are up for the same honors at Sunday’s Academy Awards, where Bridges and Mo’Nique are the front-runners and newcomer Sidibe was nominated for her screen debut.

“Precious” swept every category for which it was nominated, including best screenplay by a first-time writer for Geoffrey Fletcher. He and director Daniels also are nominated at the Oscars, where “Precious” is among the best-picture contenders.

Another best-picture Oscar nominee, Lone Scherfig’s British drama “An Education,” was chosen as best foreign film.

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