In an awards season defined by dry, pre-recorded virtual ceremonies, Adam Sandler rose above the rest at the Film Independent Spirit Awards. In presenting the award for Best Female Lead, Sandler — who won Best Male Lead for “Uncut Gems” at last year’s ceremony — dubbed himself “the face of the Independent Spirit Awards” and spared the at-home audience from the kind of awkward and stale presentations that have come to define pandemic-era awards shows.
“Hello, I’m Adam Sandler, the face of the Independent Spirit Awards,” the comedian said, sporting robust facial hair. “If you’re wondering why I have an extremely hip beard now, it wasn’t intentional. Last year after I won Best Male Lead for me incomparable ‘Uncut Gems’ performance, this beard just appeared on my face. Was it magic, or was it the independent spirits that did it. Yes, my wife and kids haven’t looked at me without cringing in over 12 months, but Lars von Trier gave me a bag of CBD coffee for my birthday and Bon Iver does transcendental yoga with me every morning, so its all good, independently speaking of course.”
Sandler’s performance as bling jeweler Howard Ratner in Josh and Benny Safdie’s “Uncut Gems” attracted a cult following from the day the film premiered in Toronto in 2019. He had a devoted group of boosters who wanted to see him land his first Oscar nomination.
That didn’t happen, but Sandler did get recognition at last year’s Indie Spirits. Sandler’s appearance at this year’s ceremony saw him use the same goofy voice he used in his own acceptance speech, which itself was one of the most memorable parts of the 2020 show.
“Hello my name is Adam Sandler,” he said in his speech last year. “Thank you. I stand before you trembling with glee as I receive your so-called best actor trophy independently speaking, of course. First off, it’s great to see our host Aubrey Plaza again. Aubrey and I did a move entitled ‘Funny People’ 11 years ago, that was actually the last time critics pretended not to hate me for five fucking minutes.”
Sandler’s remarks Sunday served as an abbreviated follow-up to his raucous acceptance speech, with the actor making fun of his own career defined by screwball comedies. He introduced the nominees for Best Female Lead, a prize that would go to Carey Mulligan for “Promising Young Woman.”
“Congratulations to the six outstanding women nominated tonight for Best Female lead. I loved all of your performances, and I have a wonderful piece of advice for you. You just poured your soul into a role and dug deeper than you knew you were ever capable of,” he said. “Now, do your next movie with Rob Schneider and David Spade. It’s fun, less painful, and it keeps people guessing.”