February 26, 2012 in Nation/World

‘Artist’ garners top honors at indie Spirit Awards

David Germain Associated Press
Other winners

First feature: “Margin Call,” directed by J.C. Chandor

International film:

“A Separation,” directed by Asghar Farhadi


“The Interrupters”

First screenplay:

Will Reiser, “50/50”

John Cassavetes Award for feature film made for less than $500,000: “Pariah”

SANTA MONICA, Calif. – “The Artist” won best picture and three other prizes Saturday at the Spirit Awards honoring independent film, a possible prelude to a big night at the Academy Awards for the black-and-white silent movie.

The film also won for best director for Michel Hazanavicius and lead actor for Jean Dujardin as a silent-era star whose career crumbles as talking pictures take over in the 1920s. It earned the cinematography prize for Guillaume Schiffman, too.

“The Artist” is the best-picture favorite at today’s Oscars.

Michelle Williams won best actress as Marilyn Monroe in the filmmaking tale “My Week with Marilyn.”

Supporting-acting honors went to Christopher Plummer as an elderly widower who comes out as gay in “Beginners” and Shailene Woodley as a troublesome Hawaiian teenager in “The Descendants.”

“The Artist” producer Thomas Langmann said the awards attention for the film was especially gratifying given how difficult it was to line up financing for a silent film, a form that went out of vogue more than 80 years ago.

“Everybody told us this is so much against conventional wisdom,” Langmann said.

“The Descendants” also won the screenplay award for director Alexander Payne and his co-writers, Nat Faxon and Jim Rash.

© Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email