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Birdman wins Independent Spirit awards


Story by Jack Foley

ALEJANDRO G Inarritu’s Birdman has taken the top prize at the Film Independent Spirit awards, boosting its Oscar hopes ahead of Sunday’s ceremony.

The showbiz satire won best feature, best actor for Michael Keaton and best cinematography, beating Oscar favourite Boyhood.

Inarritu said he felt “so proud and emotional” to win and praised Keaton and the rest of his enesmble cast, which further includes Edward Norton and Emma Stone.

Boyhood did not leave empty-handed, however, picking up two awards for best director for Richard Linklater and best supporting actress for Patricia Arquette, who remains odds-on favourite to take home the Oscar equivalent.

Two further Oscar hopefuls were also recognised with awards at the ceremony.

Julianne Moore took home the best actress prize for Still Alice, in which she plays a woman with early onset Alzheimer’s.

She told the audience: “We wanted to make a movie that was about living with something, not dying from it.”

She went on to highlight the low budget spirit of the film, saying: “We made the movie in 23 days for $4m. I brought my own bras and food.”

And JK Simmons won best supporting actor for his role as a bullying teacher in jazz drama Whiplash.

Both Simmons and Moore are widely expected to land the Oscars on Sunday night.

The best international film award was given to Polish drama Ida, prompting its director Pawel Pawlikowski to say: “We did everything to make a film nobody watches – black and white, the camera doesn’t move. But miracles happen.”

The full list of Independent Spirit Award Winners…

Best Feature
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Richard Linklater for Boyhood

Male lead
Michael Keaton for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Female lead
Julianne Moore for Still Alice

Supporting Male
JK Simmons for Whiplash

Supporting Female
Patricia Arquette for Boyhood

Dan Gilroy for Nightcrawler

Emmanuel Lubezki for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Tom Cross for Whiplash

Best First Feature

First Screenplay
Justin Simien for Dear White People

John Cassavetes Award
Land Ho!


International Film

Robert Altman Award
Inherent Vice

Special Distinction Award

Next story: Kristen Stewart makes history at French Cesar awards