Story by: Jack Foley
LOST in Translation
proved to be the big winner at the Independent Spirit Awards,
which honours movies which are funded outside of the traditional
Sofia Coppola's under-stated comedy, which finds Bill Murray
as an elderly actor who befriends a young American tourist (Scarlett
Johansson), during a stay in Tokyo, picked up four awards, for
best feature, best director and best screenplay.
It was a fitting victory for a brilliant film, which looks set
to be overshadowed at the Oscars, where Lord
of the Rings is expected to dominate.
Peter Jackson's epic was ineligible for the Spirit ceremony,
as was the likes of Anthony Minghella's Cold
Mountain, or Peter Weir's Master
Speaking after the ceremony, a delighted Coppola thanked her
father, Francis Ford, for the support she had received from him,
in shaping her screenwriting career.
The film's star, Murray, also claimed the best actor prize, but
immediately played down his chances of success in the same category
at Sunday's Oscars - referring to the occasion as nothing more
than a big long wait in 'a monkey suit'.
Another Oscar favourite, Charlize Theron, was honoured for her
performance as a serial killer, in Monster,
which also won best first feature, for writer and director, Patty
In what proved to be a truly international-flavoured ceremony,
the event, held in a beach tent in Santa Monica, attracted some
heavyweight talent, including the likes of Sir Ian McKellen, Sean
Penn, Jennifer Aniston, and Murray.
Three of the four main acting categories went to non-Americans,
with Djimon Hounsou, who hails from the African country of Benin,
awarded for his performance in In
America, and Iranian actress, Shohreh Aghdashloo, collecting
the best supporting actress for her role in the House
of Sand and Fog.
In accepting her award, Aghdashloo said she wanted to send a
message to the people of Iran to fight for human rights, especially
for children and women in the country, although she pledged not
to use the Oscars to air her political views.
"The red carpet fits into a universal platform, where all
my peers are going to be acknowledged by their peers, and it is
purely artistic, and I'm not going to ruin it with a political
message," she said.
Whale Rider pick up best
foreign language film.