Actor and comedian Adam Sandler won best actor at Saturday’s independent Spirit Awards, and used the opportunity to poke fun at the Academy Awards, which snubbed him for “Uncut Gems.”
Sandler, who received a standing ovation, compared his “quote unquote snub” at the Oscars to when he lost out on being named best looking in high school to a “jean-jacket wearing feather-haired douchebag by the name of Skipper Jenkins.” But he did win best personality, an honor he compared to his Spirit Award.
“As I look around this room, I realize the Independent Film Spirit Awards are the Best Personality Awards of Hollywood,” Sandler joked.
Referring to the Oscar nominees he said “Let all those feather-haired douchebag motherfuckers get their Oscars tomorrow night. Their handsome good looks will fade in time, while our independent personalities will shine on forever.”
Brothers Josh and Benny Safdie won best director for their frenetic, anxiety-ridden thriller “Uncut Gems,” about a compulsive New York jeweler whose gambling addiction lands him in ever-deepening trouble.
Along with Sandler’s ward, the film also won best editing.
Many were surprised when the film earned no Oscar nominations, not even for Sandler, who some critics had picked to win the best actor award.
At a Film Independent Spirit Awards that often stood in stark contrast to Sunday’s Academy Awards, Lulu Wang’s family drama “The Farewell” took the top prize.
The win Saturday for “The Farewell” was a surprise, but also a fitting finale to a Spirit Awards that exalted female filmmakers and put forth a far more diverse field of nominees than the film academy. Wang referenced the conversation around the dearth of female filmmaker nominated by the Academy Awards in her speech.
“You don’t have to encourage women. There are lots of women making films, in film school,” said Wang. “What women need is just the job. Give them the freaking job!”
The Spirits, held in an ocean-side tent on the Santa Monica, California, beach the day before the Oscars, often diverges greatly in tone from the weekend’s other, more formally attired award show across town. But the winners — including “Moonlight,” “Spotlight” and “Birdman” — have often lined up.
Yet more so than in years, the Spirit Awards hardly overlapped with the Oscars this time around. “The Farewell” was shutout by the film academy, which instead heaped nominations on bigger-budget epics including “1917,” “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood” and “The Irishman.” The Spirits, the premier awards ceremony for indie film, cap nominees at a budget of $22.5 million.