‘Slave’ triumphs in Oscars-eve indie film awards

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The eve-of Oscars Spirit Awards saw 12 Years A Slave scoop five gongs, including best feature at the annual independent film celebration.

The slavery tale won awards for director Steve McQueen, actress Lupita Nyong’o, screenwriter John Ridley and cinematographer Sean Bobbitt. In a more laid-back, beachside ceremony in Santa Monica, just west of Los Angeles, 12 Years A Slave was applauded as the clear favourite of the indie circuit.

All of the Oscar favourites won at the Spirits, including best actor for Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club and Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine. McConaughey’s co-star, Jared Leto, won best male supporting performance.

Leto gave what might be the acceptance speech to end all acceptance speeches, rattling off an absurd list of thank yous to not just those with Dallas Buyers Club, but Hermann Hesse, Wayne Gretzky, home-made burritos, “the seven billion people on the planet” and many more.

The actor-rocker added, with emphasis, “all the women I’ve been with and all the women who think they’ve been with me”.

“What am I going to say that I haven’t already said?” Blanchett remarked in her acceptance speech. Presented by Film Independent – a group of film-makers, industry professionals and movie buffs – and hosted by Patton Oswalt, the Spirits are first and foremost a show to 
fete indie film and cast a spotlight on the little films that have to scrape money together to get made.

Meanwhile. father and son Will and Jaden Smith have something they can bond over – they have both awarded Razzies for After Earth.

Jaden, 15, was named worst actor for his role in the sci-fi flop about a father and son stranded on an untamed Earth, while his 45-year-old father was chosen as worst supporting actor at the Golden Raspberry Awards in Los Angeles, which lampoons Hollywood’s awards season.

See tomorrow’s Yorkshire Post for a full Oscars report.