Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.
by Peter Knegt
February 21, 2009 9:42 AM
2 Comments
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Spirit Awards '09: Minute By Minute

Penelope Cruz at the 2009 Film Independent's Spirit Awards. Photo by Brian Brooks.

4:00 pm PST: I guess Mickey isn't coming. The show's over, and I need to pee. Check out the whole list of winners here, and come back tomorrow when we do this all again for the Oscars.

3:58 pm PST: Darren Aronofsky: "The thing I love about the independent spirit awards is that every film in here is a passion piece."

3:58 pm PST: "The Wrestler" wins best feature. Still no Mickey in the press tent.

3:57 pm PST: Baldwin on Mickey: "I want back into the movie business so bad... I gotta get a dog and start working out... And drop a lot of f bombs on live TV. And I want to second, whatever Eric Roberts did 15 years ago, please let it go."

3:54 pm PST: Alec Baldwin is presenting best feature. We're still awaiting Mickey in the press tent.

3:50 pm PST: Waters ends up handing the best director award to "pack of lies" creator Tom McCarthy.

3:49 pm PST: "Don't get me started about 'The Visitor,'" Waters says. "It's not about a visitor. It's about an illegal immigrant. Visitor my ass. This film is a pack of lies." Why didn't he host?

3:49 pm PST: John Waters and Zooey Deschanel presenting together!

3:48 pm PST: Wow.

3:47 pm PST: Mickey: "Paula, I love you, you can go back to the farm after tomorrow."

3:46 pm PST: Mickey: "Not many girls can climb the pole, you know what I'm saying..."

3:46 pm PST: Mickey: "[I wanna thank] the little one I call gap-tooth."

3:45 pm PST: Mickey: "Darren, you know, if they ain't got the balls to bring it, than fuck 'em, you know."

3:44 pm PST: Mickey: "I asked them for two pillows, they told me to fuck off."

3:44pm PST: Mickey's tearing up about the dog.

3:44 pm PST: Mickey: "And that little blonde dude who sang that song, I'm gonna kick your ass."

3:43 pm PST: Mickey: "Eric Roberts is the fucking man!"

3:41 pm PST: Mickey Rourke wins. He gets a standing ovation.

3:38 pm PST: "I almost got that role," Hoffman said of Javier Bardem's work in "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" when he got back on stage to present the nominees for best male lead. "Javier!" He said, raising his fist in the air.

Melissa Leo at the 2009 Film Independent's Spirit Awards. Photo by Brian Brooks.

3:37 pm PST: More word from inside the main tent. Philip Seymour Hoffman, on stage with the cast of "Synechdoche New York" to accept the Robert Altman Award said simply, "I'm glad I said 'yes'... so glad I said 'yes'." And then Charlie Kaufman thanked a long list of folks.

3:35 pm PST: I just realized all of my listed times were an hour off. Just spend four minutes fixing. On another note: Rainn Wilson on screen dressed as Mickey Rourke in "The Wrestler," singing to the tune of James Brown's "I Feel Good."

3:29 pm PST: "The Wrestler" wins best cinematography. And Cantet has entered the press room. "The richness of French cinema is its diversity," He said. "I'm still really grateful to my producers and everyone that worked on the film because when we started this film, we really didnt know there'd be a film at the end. Itw as kind of an experiment. We just kind of gathered twenty five kids in a classroom and improvised to see what might happen. Two year later, we're here."

3:25 pm PST: "The Class" wins best foreign film.

3:24 pm PST: Margaret Brown has entered the press room. "I was shocked. And I was actually kinda scared I'd win because I didn't know what to say." Also of note: Brown said she's planning on doing a narrative feature next.

3:22 pm PST: Another turn-on-television moment: Christina Applegate interpreting "Frozen River" through a song and dance. Melissa Leo and Misty Upham are eating it up.

3:21 pm PST: Woody Allen wins best screenplay. As expected, he isn't there.

3:20 pm PST: I really need to pee and I'm a little drunk. Expect much less from me from this point on.

3:18 pm PST: "The Order of Myths" director Margaret Brown wins the LaCoste Truer Than Fiction Award.

3:15 pm PST: Shelton enters the press room and holds up her award, "Here it is! Proof!"

3:13 pm PST: Heather Rae wins the Piaget Producer's Award for "Frozen River."

3:10 pm PST: "I don't have a speech," Shelton said, thanking her fellow nominees. Earlier in the afternoon, Eugene noted Shelton was eating a bite of some food she'd brought with her (because she can't eat the food that was served), when he complimented her on her stunning green dress. "I don't get a lot of opportunuties, especially in Seattle, to wear a dress like this!"

3:08 pm PST: Lynn Shelton wins the Acura Someone To Watch award for "My Effortless Brillance."

3:06 pm PST: Eugene fills me in on Melissa Leo's speech. "You are my people you know you are my people, thank you so much Film Independent," she said. "'Frozen River' is a truly independent film." She ended the speech by flailing her arms and screaming, "Hooray Independent!!"

3:04 pm PST: Marsh heads off just in time for me to hear Teri Hatcher's musical celebration of "Wendy & Lucy." Oh dear God. I wouldn't advise this at any other moment, but turn on your television right now. She's singing "the bitch is gone" to the tune of Elton John's "The Bitch is Back." Michelle Williams closeups are priceless.

3:01 pm PST: Marsh gets off the phone. We learn it was his publicist. "For me this is a really great award," he says. "It's an independent film celebration in America. I'm not part of the Oscar world or the Academy world. But this world I'm part of." Meanwhile, Leo's speech looks emotional.

2:59 pm PST: I'm multitasking between listening to James Marsh in the press room and who might win best female lead on the screen beside him. First task: Marsh gets a cell phone call in the middle of the press conference, and takes the call. His producer takes over. "This is the most amazing story," he said, "and James took it to dizzying new heights." Second task: Melissa Leo

Dustin Lance Black at the 2009 Film Independent's Spirit Awards. Photo by Brian Brooks.

2:56 pm PST: It's a "Juno" reunion as Ellen Page and Jason Bateman take the stage to present best female lead.

2:55 pm PST: "Man on Wire" wins best documentary. The award is presented to James Marsh by two actors (I didn't hear who) dressed as Batman and Jaoquin Phoenix.

2:54 pm PST: "So I guess you're really fucking happy," a reporter asks Holdridge as he takes the stage in the press room.

2:51 pm PST: "I really fucking wanted this," "Kiss" director Alex Holdridge said, praising actors and his love for them. He used the f-word too many times to count, stirring laughter and applause from the crowd. Thanking the filmmakers, he said he was too shy to talk to them in person.

2:49 pm PST: "In The Search of a Midnight Kiss" wins the John Cassavetes Award

2:47 pm PST: While I was fixated on Penelope, apparently Dawn Hudson, executive director of Film Independent, took the stage. "Independent film is basically recession proof, we didn't have any money... These films are not profit driven they are artist driven" She singled out critics Kenny Turan and Manohla Dargis, and William Morris agent Rena Ronson, she thanked "everyone in the room" for their support of indie film...

2:43 pm PST: Penelope is ridiculously adorable. One reporter asked what she's wearing for the Oscars. "I cannot answer all that! I can't talk about tomorrow it's a secret! These are funny questions.." Another reporter asked her where she puts her awards. "Where? In my house, I guess..."

2:41 pm PST: People are screaming outside this tent, assuming because Penelope is en route. I missed her speech, but Eugene has filled me in. "He really is the symbol of independence in our industry," Cruz said of Woody Allen. "He does whatever be wants..." She thanked Woody by relating a story about how he left the set to go to a dermatologist after discovering a freckle...

2:37 pm PST: "It's not adhering to some sort of formula," Kaufman said in the press tent. "It wasn't setting out to getting a lot of people into the theatre, and obviously, we were successful in not getting a lot of people into the theatre."

2:35 pm PST: Kaufman's in the press tent. Sound's off again, but I see Penelope Cruz won best supporting female.

2:33 pm PST: More info from the main tent: "I guess it really is a bad title," Charlie Kaufman said on stage, "I wouldn't listen to them."

James Franco at the 2009 Film Independent's Spirit Awards. Photo by Peter Knegt.

2:29 pm PST: The attractive man parade continues in the press rent with Dustin Lance Black. "I'd like to say its the screenplay," Black joked when someone asked why it was this Harvey Milk project that finally made it to the screen. And some info from in the main tent on Black's speech I missed due to Franco: ""Its been 30 years, "Black said, reflecting on Harvey Milk. And making a statement for marrige equality and gay equal rights he added, I don't think we can wait 30 years more..." Lance's words were quite strongly received inside the tent with extended applause from the crowd.

2:27 pm PST: Sound back on just in time to hear that Charlie Kaufman has won best first feature for "Synecdoche, New York."

2:24 pm PST: Franco in the press tent: "When you're working with Gus, sometimes it felt like.. he's not directing me. He's so soft spoken and has such a gentle touch..." I bet you do too, James.

2:22 pm PST: They turn off the volume on the press tent's TV screen because Franco has arrived. I don't mind.

2:20 pm PST: Ben Kingsley and Mary-Kate Olsen awkwardly co-presenting best first screenplay together. Despite the screenplay they worked on together, "The Wackness," being nominated, Dustin Lance Black wins for "Milk."

2:18 pm PST: Before he started acting, Franco said he had fallen in love with Gus Van Sants movies... "Just really greatful to be a part of it," he said of "Milk."

2:15 pm PST: First award of the evening: James Franco, best supporting male, for "Milk." I eagerly await his presence in the press tent.

2:06 pm PST: A few minutes into Steve Coogan's opening monologue, and we've had a Michael Bolton joke, a fisting joke, and multiple uses of the words "dick," "cock," and "penis." The press room hasn't exactly been bursting with laughter, though I personally enjoyed his mocking declaration of "Bride Wars" as "harrowing" to an obviously embarrassed Anne Hathaway. I still suspect numerous "I miss John Waters" groans at the after party.

2:03 pm PST: "Independent films are about shared experience," host Steve Coogan said introducing the Spirits ceremony. "Today we all share the experience of not having seen most of the films."

2:00 pm PST: The show is beginning. I'm watching it on a screen in the press room, which is about 20% full. Judging from the crowd span I'm seeing on television, my iW colleagues aren't quite as lonely.

1:48 pm PST: Over the next two hours, indieWIRE's editorial team will be giving you a minute-by-minute (ish) rundown of the 2009 Film Independent's Spirit Awards (in addition to a full list of winners). Unless this shaky wireless connection fails me, I'll be reporting from the press tent, as well as relaying info from Eugene Hernandez and Brian Brooks (in the main tent), to you, our indieWIRE readers. The fun starts in twelve minutes.

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2 Comments

  • martin dantich | February 26, 2009 3:51 AMReply

    When has Steve Coogan ever actually been funny? It's all hype.

  • pegu | February 22, 2009 12:12 AMReply

    Mickey Rourke. Best. Acceptance. Speech. Ever.