The Film Independent Spirit Awards are Like the Oscars, Only with More Sand and Swearing

You gotta love an award show with two Kates and a lot of Idris Elba

The Film Independent Spirit Awards are held every year the day before the Oscars on the beach in Santa Monica. It is usually electric inside the tent on the sand, despite the fact that some of the films are pretty heavy. It’s the kind of award show where Jennifer Jason Leigh is nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Anomalisa and not The Hateful Eight, and there is a prize called the John Cassavetes Award that honors the best feature of the year made for under $500,000, which was probably the monthly craft services bill for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. This year, Carol leads with the most nominations (six), and Beasts Of No Nation is a close second with five noms.

Cate Blanchett at the award show in 2014. Will she win again on Saturday?
Cate Blanchett won an award in 2014 for her role in Blue Jasmine. Will she win another for Carol on Saturday?

Photograph by Kari Mozena

Saturday’s hosts are SNL’s Kate McKinnon and Silicon Valley/Portlandia’s Kumail Nanjiani. They join the ranks of previous emcees who have included John Waters, Samuel L. Jackson, Rainn Wilson, Patton Oswalt, Andy Samberg, Fred Armisen, and Kristen Bell, among others. I wish The Big Short made the indie cut and Ryan Gosling and co. were in the big top this year. The last time Gosling and McKinnon were in the same room together he could not stop laughing (check it out below). Alas, I don’t see The Gos on any of my lists.

You won’t find a whole lot of Film Independent Spirit Award office pools, but the show is always inspiring. It is a little punk rock and filled with the best in independent film, many of whom will also snag Oscars the next day. Be sure to watch all the passionate cursing live on IFC at 2 p.m. PT/5 p.m. ET.

David Oyelowo at last year's Film Independent Spirit Awards
David Oyelowo at last year’s Film Independent Spirit Awards

Photograph by Kari Mozena