Watch John Mulaney and Nick Kroll Drag Kevin Spacey, Harvey Weinstein and the Rest of Hollywood

Independent Spirit Awards hosts John Mulaney and Nick Kroll killed the room during their opening monologue at the awards show the day before the Academy Awards, bringing down the house with a series of take-no-prisoners jokes skewering Hollywood and its place in the #MeToo movement. “What a year! Last year every one famous died, this […]

Independent Spirit Awards hosts John Mulaney and Nick Kroll killed the room during their opening monologue at the awards show the day before the Academy Awards, bringing down the house with a series of take-no-prisoners jokes skewering Hollywood and its place in the #MeToo movement. “What a year! Last year every one famous died, this […]

Harvey Weinstein’s Downfall Made the Independent Spirit Awards Better Than Ever

The awards show has long suffered from comparisons to the Oscars, but as the landscape shifts, better movie stand out.

The Independent Spirit Awards always have a party vibe, but this time they really had something to celebrate. Even before Spirit Awards co-host John Mulaney joked that Harvey Weinstein’s would be buried under “XXL Unmarked Grave,” it was clear that the disgraced mogul’s downfall provided an excuse to peer beyond the dark cloud of #MeToo conversations and celebrate movies divorced from the agenda that has held this scene hostage for so long.

In truth, the Spirit Awards started to improve in tandem with Weinstein’s gradual decrease in influence over the last half decade. There was a lot of grousing in the room from industry insiders and filmmakers alike, in both 2013 and 2014, when “The Artist” and “Silver Linings Playbook” won best feature back to back. The Weinstein campaign machine thrust these movies into the center of the conversation so loudly they elbowed out other, less ostentatious works that had no shot at winning Oscars the next day. The Spirit Awards had become a rehearsal lunch.

As The Weinstein Company’s awards game become wobblier, the Spirits started to get their groove back. Though it was dispiriting to see the relatively large-scale “Birdman” win over near-experimental “Boyhood” a year later, nobody could deny that the victory for “Spotlight” in 2016 felt more appropriate to the Spirit Awards than anything made for millions more. The next year, as “Moonlight” took home the top prize — then nabbed best picture in a shocking twist at the end the Sunday’s event — the shift was ever clearer.

The Spirit Awards have long been accused of imitating the Oscars; now, we see that the exact opposite is true. Though best film winner “Get Out” was technically released by Universal, the $4.5 million project was a long-gestating original idea from a new filmmaker whose sensibilities synched up with the desires of a progressive culture (and it was produced outside of the studio’s clutches). A bizarre, outrageous genre hybrid that’s also a probing meditation on black-white relations, best director winner Jordan Peele’s jolt of a movie essentially came out of nowhere and rose to prominence on the basis of its genuine creative ambition, and the waves of people who celebrated it.

That’s the way it’s supposed to work. “What do we mean when we say independent film?” Mulaney said in an opening monologue. “Well, in many ways, we mean movies.”

Timothee Chalamet, 'Call Me by Your Name' - Best Male Lead33rd Film Independent Spirit Awards, Press Room, Los Angeles, USA - 03 Mar 2018

Timothee Chalamet

Andrew H. Walker/REX/Shutterstock

The Spirit Awards don’t operate like the Oscars: Unlike the Academy’s exclusive club of industry insiders, anyone willing to pay for Film Independent membership gets a vote, which makes the outcome far more susceptible to aggressive, public-facing campaigns. Weinstein, in between his ghastly crimes, killed at that sort of thing. At its peak, a Weinstein campaign’s optics had the power to silence the competition and absorb all the attention in the room, well beyond awards season: For much of the country, Weinstein and his movies became synonymous with American independent film.

Many 2018 Spirit Awards winners, including Peele (who also won best director), “Lady Bird” screenplay winner Greta Gerwig, and awards-season darling Timothée Chalamet (best actor winner for “Call Me By Your Name”), came to prominence in a post-Weinstein era, when the crass campaign-driven system was the natural order. Their ubiquity reflects the emergence of fresh talent who align with calls for diversity and quality; the Spirits are the awards show that aspires to single out those attributes long-awaited arrival.

Oscars nominees still look a lot like the Spirit Awards — though “The Shape of Water” didn’t make the cut, the three aforementioned winners will walk the Dolby Theater red carpet 24 hours after nabbing their Spirit trophies. But now, the Oscars and the Spirits both present a more genuine impression of the past year. Of course, it would have been nice to see the Spirit Awards find more room for notable Oscar snubs, including “The Florida Project” and “A Ghost Story,” and perhaps the next stage for this awards show as it rights the ship will involve more pressure to allow those more radically unconventional titles to dominate various categories. (The nomination of naturalistic cowboy drama “The Rider,” directed by Chinese filmmaker Chloé Zhao, who also won the Spirits’ first Bonnie Award for a female director, felt like a step in the right direction.)

Weinstein’s absence will bring more changes to come. As Weinstein’s influence waned, A24 arose as the new standard-bearer. This year, A24 won one prize, for “Lady Bird;” “The Florida Project” team just looked happy to be there. A few feet away, new player NEON celebrated more wins: Two for the Tonya Harding skating dramedy “I, Tonya” (supporting actress Allison Janney and editor Tatiana S. Riegel), and another for best first feature, an unexpected win for the Aubrey Plaza dark comedy “Ingrid Goes West.” Both movies are edgy interrogations into the state of American media in a divisive age. Representatives from NEON, which recently secured new ownership from the ambitious film investment firm 30West, insist that the company’s name must be written in all caps. They want to make some noise.

“I, Tonya”

The Spirit Awards show stumbled here and there. As usual, many in attendance complained that it ran too long, marred by too many commercial breaks and extended bits that drew out the running time. The decision to hand out the first award before the show started, for best cinematography, felt like a downgrading of its artistic merits; it was a snippet of the miscalculations that used to mar every aspect of this ceremony. Andy Sandberg’s dopey variation on Pearl Jam’s “Alive,” focused on how all the younger stars in the room might go over to the dark side of superhero movies, felt like a crass and superficial interpretation of that career move (especially in the year of “Black Panther”). Some people deemed “Mudbound” director Dee Rees’ speech when accepting the Robert Altman Award, where she declared that “‘Mudbound’ is cinema” devoid of the format people watch it on, as self-serving or didactic. But there are worse outcomes for awards season than a few clunky bits, and one talented artist caught up in the moment.

All of which is to say that the awards season ecosystem hasn’t become a utopian, merit-based process devoid of distractions. However, it’s heartening to see the scene less paranoid about a future overflowing with potential, and a new breed of creativity that stands to benefit from the shift.

Indie Spirits Reward Diversity with ‘Get Out,’ ‘The Big Sick,’ ‘A Fantastic Woman,’ and More

The night’s winning women included Agnès Varda, Dee Rees, and Chloé Zhao.

The year’s Film Independent Spirit Awards were a celebration of inclusivity. “Get Out” — the first debut feature from a black writer-director to cross the $100 million box office mark — won the two top prizes, Best Feature and Best Director. Jordan Peele received a standing ovation when accepting the latter from Spike Lee. “Let’s make no mistake, I would not be standing here if it wasn’t for this man,” said Peele. In his three-decade-plus career, Lee never received a Best Director Oscar nomination; Peele will compete for the statuette tomorrow.

“This project didn’t start as a statement” on the racial disparity present in America, Peele continued. “I realized that there are people who are locked up for smoking less weed than I was smoking than I wrote the movie. And so I wanted to deliver that truth” referencing the broken criminal justice system, a theme explored by Spirit Awards Honorary Chair in her 2017 Oscar winning documentary, “13th.”

Standing ovations also went to Frances McDormand (Best Female Lead, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”), Agnès Varda (Best Documentary, “Faces, Places”), and Chloé Zhao, writer-director of four-time nominee “The Rider.” In early January, China-born Zhao received Film Independent’s Bonnie Award, a $50,000 unrestricted grant for a mid-career female filmmaker.

Chloe Zhao, Ava DuVernay. Chloe Zhao accepts the Bonnie award at the 33rd Film Independent Spirit Awards, in Santa Monica, Calif. Ava DuVernay looks on from right2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Show, Santa Monica, USA - 03 Mar 2018

Chloe Zhao and Ava DuVernay

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Ahead of the ceremony, Netflix’s “Mudbound” was announced as the winner of the 2018 Robert Altman Award, presented to a director and cast. Backstage, director and co-writer Dee Rees expressed hope that people could see herself and her peers as “not just as women but as creators. Not as a black woman, not as a lesbian woman, but as a director…We can start to talk about the craft, we can talk about the work, not about identity of the maker.” 

“Mudbound” made history by securing Rachel Morrison the first Oscar nomination for a female cinematographer (Morrison was not nominated for that Independent Spirit Award, which went to gay romance “Call Me By Your Name). The Best Editing superlative went to Tatiana S. Riegel for “I, Tonya.”

As expected, Sebastián Lelio — who hails from Argentina but directed Chile’s Best Foreign Language Film entry, “A Fantastic Woman” — took home correspondent Film Independent honors. His star, Daniela Vega, will become the first transgender actress to present at the Academy Awards.

On March 2, “A Fantastic Woman” was televised in the United Kingdom. Lelio said backstage that the broadcast garnered huge ratings and “really awakened both sides: the people that are inspired by the idea of embracing the complexity of life, and the people that think transgender people should be locked up. And I think that speaks about how urgent the conversation is, and how necessary it is that we understand that there’s no such thing as an indigenous person.”

When the film premiered at the 2017 Berlinale, the director said he was “ready to be crucified.” Yet the film has actually proved less divisive than he anticipated: “Our intention to create a film that has the capacity to generate an emotional connection worked. And I think when that channel is open — the emotional channel — then all the political ideas and the social dimension of the film can travel through that channel in a more pure and probably even more effective way.”

Dee Rees, Garrett Hedlund, Billy Hopkins, Ashley Ingram, Rob Morgan. Dee Rees, second from right, accepts the Robert Altman award for "Mudbound" at the 33rd Film Independent Spirit Awards, in Santa Monica, Calif. Looking on from far left are Garrett Hedlund, Billy Hopkins, Ashley Ingram and Rob Morgan2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Show, Santa Monica, USA - 03 Mar 2018

Dee Rees, Garrett Hedlund, Billy Hopkins, Ashley Ingram, and Rob Morgan

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

Spaniard Antonio Méndez Esparza won the John Cassavetes Award, presented to films made for $500,000 or less, for his tale of a single, black mother afraid of losing her son, “Life and Nothing More.” His entire cast consisted of first-time actors, including Best Female Lead nominee Regina Williams.

Best First Screenplay went to spouses Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon. They wrote “The Big Sick” based on the harrowing start of their relationship, when Pakistani-American Nanjiani met Gordon’s Southern, white family while she was in a medically-induced coma. “There is no reward for what we went through physically and emotionally,” said Nanjiani, who also starred.

At January’s Golden Globes, men were criticized for not being vocal enough allies for the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements. Yet straight, white men took multiple opportunities at the Spirits to champion industry-wide diversity. “Ready Player One” actor Ben Mendelsohn took a moment to remind the Santa Monica audience that his co-presenter, Lena Waithe, recently became the first black woman to win an Emmy for writing on a comedy series (“Master of None”). Best Male Lead Timothée Chalamet (“Call Me By Your Name”) said that he is heartened that storytellers like Rees, Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”), and his director, Luca Guadagnino, have been “given the keys” to shape both the industry and the nation.

The event was hosted for the second year in a row by friends and former Broadway co-stars Nick Kroll and John Mulaney. “Yes, they are straight white guys up there onstage,” admitted Film Independent President Joe Welch. “But they’re so smart, so attuned to where we are culturally, I’m sure in their material and their monologue they’re going to be addressing where we are.” 

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Film Independent Spirit Awards Lean Into Future Oscar Winners, Including ‘Get Out’ and ‘Three Billboards’

Some Indie Spirit winners will repeat on Oscar Sunday, while others got to win something before the big day.

Amid raucous jokes about Harvey Weinstein and the crazy political climate, the mood was upbeat at the 33rd Independent Spirit Awards — held in a gusty tent at the beach in Santa Monica the Saturday before the Oscars. As expected, the big winner was “Get Out,” which took home Best Feature and Best Director.

While recent Spirit Award winners have gone on to repeat at the Oscars — as many pundits think “Get Out” will — the fact that “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” and “The Shape of Water” were not in the running for Best Feature gave the horror thriller an open lead.

“We are at the beginning of a renaissance right now,” said writer-director Jordan Peele, who shot the $4.5 million Universal film in 23 days. “Long live the Independent Spirits, hooray!” added producer Jason Blum. Peele also thanked presenter Spike Lee: “I would not be standing here if it wasn’t for this man,” he said. “Our truths are the most important weapon we have against the lies in this world.”

Backstage, the “Get Out” team refused to speculate about their prospects at the Oscars, preferring to enjoy their wins. And only if they come up with something worthy of a sequel will that happen, added Peele.

Timothée Chalamet and Lucy Walker at the Independent Spirit Awards

Lucy Walker

“I have a lot of faith in this industry and our country and Greta Gerwig and Luca Guadagnino,” said Best Actor winner Timothée Chalamet, listing other luminaries in the room. “We’re going to be good, I have faith that the people being given the keys, like Dee Rees…We’re going to make the change…We’re going to keep making independent movies!” Chalamet won without having to compete against ineligible “Darkest Hour” star Gary Oldman, who is expected to take home the Oscar.  “Call Me By Your Name” also won Best Cinematography.

“It feels good to be in a place where independence is so important,” said Agnes Varda, while her co-director of winning documentary “Faces Places,” JR, said he was happy to be with the real Agnes, not the cardboard cutout. They haven’t seen each other for a month. Backstage, Varda sent her old friend Jean-Luc Godard the DVD. “So far, no word.” Before the ceremony, the Honorary Oscar winner admitted that she did get to make most of the movies she wanted to in her half-century of making movies. “But it just took longer.”

Agnes Varda

Best Female Lead went to “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” star Frances McDormand, just as the Best Actress Oscar likely will tomorrow as well. “I get to swear,” she said. “Do you know how hard it is to not swear? This awards convention goes on for fucking forever! I am independent and I am spirited.”

Best Supporting Male went to Sam Rockwell, as is also expected on Sunday, marking a clean sweep of awards. “The independents are my family,” he said, thanking his writer-director Martin McDonagh for his script as well as his co-stars Woody Harrelson and Frances “badass” McDormand. (He also thanked his therapist.)

Best Screenplay went to Greta Gerwig for “Lady Bird,” who seemed genuinely surprised. While she’s up for four Oscars, this could be her only win.

Accepting the pre-announced Robert Altman ensemble award for “Mudbound,” director Dee Rees gave an incendiary, poetic speech that roused the room, thanking her cast, her crew and Oscar-nominated cinematographer Rachel Morrison.

Emily V. Gordon

Best First Screenplay winner Emily V. Gordon (“The Big Sick,” with husband Kumail Nanjiani) had to blow-dry the bottom of her wet full-length dress, as the carpets were still wet from the weekend’s storms. “My father never cheated on my mother, that’s something we made up for movie,” she said.

“That we know of,” quipped Nanjiani.

Allison Janney’s train was sopping wet, she said, as she accepted the Best Supporting Actress award. Her speech was written on the back of her itinerary. “Cheers to ‘I, Tonya!’” she said. Best Editing went to Tatiana S. Riegel, who was the only contender in that category also nominated for an Oscar, for “I, Tonya,” her fifth feature with director Craig Gillespie.

“The Rider” director Chloe Zhao earned a standing ovation as she accepted the first-ever Bonnie Award (with a $50,000 prize) for a woman director in mid-career; she thanked presenter Ava DuVernay and Frances McDormand and all the strong women out there, her role models.

“There are no shithole nations,” said presenter Salma Hayek, who is expected to present at the Oscars with #MeToo standard bearers Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino. Best International Film went to Chilean Oscar entry “A Fantastic Woman,” starring transgender actress Daniela Vega. The film is also favored to win the Oscar on Sunday.

The John Cassavetes award for a movie made for less than $500,000 went to “Life and Nothing More,” which beat out David Lowery’s “A Ghost Story.” Best First Feature went to popular Sundance title “Ingrid Goes West,” which was written at a coffee shop in Culver City. Casting Aubrey Plaza in the movie was their best move, said director Matt Spicer.

Hosts Nick Kroll and John Mulaney rocked the house with a raucous monologue excoriating Harvey Weinstein. Mulaney on nominee Frances McDormand: “I bet a fun way to commit suicide would be to cut in front of her and say, ‘What, lady?’”

Director Phil Lord told IndieWire that the duo workshopped it at comedy clubs for weeks. It played.

Indie Spirit Awards: Restrained #MeToo and Time’s Up Conversations Look to the Future and ‘Manifesting Change in Deeper Ways’

At the annual awards event, winners and stars like Dee Rees and Chloe Zhao were focused on what comes next, not about what has already happened.

Surprising no one in attendance, Film Independent Spirit Awards hosts Nick Kroll and John Mulaney dug into the current #MeToo and Time’s Up climate during their whipsmart, whirlwind opening monologue. The duo named names of accused offenders – Harvey Weinstein to Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner to Woody Allen – and turned some of the more painful elements of the biggest story of the season into a canny punchline. But most winners and stars seemed eager to move past chatter and onto the future at the annual event.

While the audience at the beachside ceremony was ready to laugh – a gag about literally burying Weinstein in an “XXL Unmarked Grave” was initially met with groans, then giggles – their approach was more measured and cautious during speeches and interviews.

In his opening remarks, Film Independent president Josh Welsh acknowledged that it had been “a rough year” for many, but he remained optimistic about the power of art: “At a time when cynicism might seem triumphant, your work – your movies – are so critically important,” he told the crowd, “and to me, and I think to everybody in this room, a beacon.”

It was that spirit that guided the rest of the show, that sense that art – and artists – could be a beacon during tough times and even tougher talks.

When Spirit Awards chair Ava DuVernay presented the inaugural Bonnie Award to fellow filmmaker Chloé Zhao for her film “The Rider,” the focus wasn’t on the bad stuff, it was on pushing forward and standing strong together.

Chloe Zhao, Ava DuVernay. Chloe Zhao accepts the Bonnie award at the 33rd Film Independent Spirit Awards, in Santa Monica, Calif. Ava DuVernay looks on from right2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Show, Santa Monica, USA - 03 Mar 2018

Chloe Zhao and Ava DuVernay

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

While accepting the honor, which recognizes a mid-career female director with a $50,000 unrestricted grant, Zhao thanked DuVernay and eventual Female Lead winner Frances McDormand for being role models. “All the strong women out there, thank you for being who you are and being such amazing role models for so many of us,” she said.

Zhao shared the same sentiment, that change comes when like-minded people bind together, earlier on the red carpet. “I’m really glad this is all happening, and I think the day when we are treated as equals as women — but also treated as individuals — is when we’ve really made it, when we’ve really arrived,” she told IndieWire.

Best Editing winner Tatiana S. Riegel had a similar outlook after she won for her work on “I, Tonya.” The only woman in the bunch, Riegel hit the backstage interview space with an eye towards the importance of the current conversation, and the hope that will change things…eventually.

“There is a disparity, there definitely is,” she said when asked about gender equality in the industry. “I think all of this conversation is extremely helpful and I think that it’s probably, sadly, going to take a bit more time to get parity and equality, but the conversation is good, everybody is aware of it. I think it’s making it a bit more difficult for people to intentionally pay less, because they’re gonna get caught.”

Despite the uptick in conversations regarding conversations about equality, parity, and sexual misconduct (so often against women in the industry), insiders and stars were careful to pronounce that sweeping change is somehow inevitable in the industry.

Tatiana S. Riegel, John Cho, Kathryn Hahn. Tatiana S. Riegel accepts the award for best editing for "I, Tonya" at the 33rd Film Independent Spirit Awards, in Santa Monica, Calif. John Cho, right, and Kathryn Hahn look on2018 Film Independent Spirit Awards - Show, Santa Monica, USA - 03 Mar 2018

Tatiana S. Riegel

Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP/REX/Shutterstock

When IndieWire asked “Get Out” star Betty Gabriel whether #MeToo and Time’s Up have impacted her experience on-set, she said, “I think it was so underneath the surface and it being brought to the surface, I just think it will find itself manifesting change in hopefully deeper, more profound ways, in huge ways.”

One way to push that sort of profound change? Backstage after accepting the Robert Altman Award for “Mudbound,” filmmaker Dee Rees had an idea, one she offered up after she was asked about her hopes for young women witnessing the current changing conversation.

“I hope that this conversation means something to young men,” Rees said. “Because as they see women who are running things and they see women that are intelligent, it will change their ideas of what women are capable of and how they should be treated. So I hope that it helps young men and women to have a different idea about how to be in the world.”

When Rees ended her exceedingly well-received comments, “Mudbound” star Garrett Hedlund offered his own response: he picked the mic off its stand, briefly held it, and let go. A literal mic drop.

Additional reporting by Jenna Marotta.

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Spirit Awards Send Jordan Peele and ‘Get Out’ to the Oscars on a Mission

The 33rd Annual Film Independent Spirit Awards did everything they could to keep the Spirits/Oscars streak alive. Now it’s up to the Academy.

By giving the Best Feature award to Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” on Saturday, Spirit Awards voters handed their big prize to the Spirit nominee with the best chance of winning the Oscar for Best Picture on Sunday. If “Get Out” does so, it will extend a streak in which five of their last six winners, including the last four in a row, repeated at the Oscars the day after winning at the Spirits.

It’s hardly a sure thing — “Get Out” isn’t the Oscar favorite, facing strong competition from “The Shape of Water” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” among others. Neither of those films were nominated for Best Feature at the  Spirit Awards, even though “Three Billboards” was nominated in other categories and “The Shape of Water” seems to have been eligible.

Also Read: Independent Spirit Awards: The Complete Winners List (Updating Live)

In winning Best Feature, “Get Out” topped two other Oscar Best Picture nominees, Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird” (which won for screenplay) and Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me by Your Name” (which won for actor Timothee Chalamet and for cinematography). But it continued a definite pattern that has developed over the last decade at the Spirit Awards, whose voters are divided between indie-film professionals and fans who pay annual dues to Film Independent.

In recent years, voters have almost invariably gone for Oscar nominees over the smaller, truly indie movies that are selected by the Spirit Award nominating committees. If there’s one Oscar nominee in a category, that nominee will usually win; if there are a couple of nominees, the one with the best chance of winning the Oscar will win the Spirit Award.

And so it went on Saturday. Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell won the Best Female Lead and Best Supporting Male awards for “Three Billboards,” just as they almost certainly will win the Oscars for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. Allison Janney of “I, Tonya” did the same in the Best Supporting Female category, where she’ll likely repeat on Sunday. And the one Spirit Awards acting winner who is apt not to repeat at the Oscars, “Call Me by Your Name” star Timothee Chalamet, is at least one of the nominees who will in all likelihood lose to Gary Oldman.

Also Read: Kroll and Mulaney Roast Harvey Weinstein, Louis CK, Kevin Spacey in Spirit Awards Monologue

In other categories, “A Fantastic Woman,” one of the two Oscar nominees in the category, won the Spirit Award for foreign film. Oscar nominee “Faces Places” won in the documentary category. “I, Tonya” won for editing and “The Big Sick” for first screenplay, both categories in which they were the sole Oscar nominee.

But the most significant wins, Best Feature and Best Director, went to Peele and “Get Out,” didn’t sweep through the Spirit Awards categories quite as thoroughly as “Moonlight” did last year or “Silver Linings Playbook” did in 2012. Greta Gerwig’s upset screenplay win for “Lady Bird” made sure of that, along with losses for “Get Out” in the actor and editing categories.

Still, the Spirit Awards sent Peele to the Oscars on a mission that he might just accomplish: keep the streak alive.

Of course, when the “Get Out” filmmakers were asked if they were thinking about the Spirits/Oscars streak in the press room after the show, producer Jason Blum immediately made an elaborate show of shaking his head no.

“Not at all,” he said. “That’s the last thing we were thinking about.”

And then he started laughing.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Oscars Party Report: Brad Pitt, J.J. Abrams and Allison Janney as a Winner in Waiting (Photos)

Oscars 2018: Will ‘The Shape of Water’ Win Best Picture? (Video)

Oscars: What Movie Won Best Picture at the Most and Least-Watched Academy Awards?

The 33rd Annual Film Independent Spirit Awards did everything they could to keep the Spirits/Oscars streak alive. Now it’s up to the Academy.

By giving the Best Feature award to Jordan Peele’s “Get Out” on Saturday, Spirit Awards voters handed their big prize to the Spirit nominee with the best chance of winning the Oscar for Best Picture on Sunday. If “Get Out” does so, it will extend a streak in which five of their last six winners, including the last four in a row, repeated at the Oscars the day after winning at the Spirits.

It’s hardly a sure thing — “Get Out” isn’t the Oscar favorite, facing strong competition from “The Shape of Water” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” among others. Neither of those films were nominated for Best Feature at the  Spirit Awards, even though “Three Billboards” was nominated in other categories and “The Shape of Water” seems to have been eligible.

In winning Best Feature, “Get Out” topped two other Oscar Best Picture nominees, Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird” (which won for screenplay) and Luca Guadagnino’s “Call Me by Your Name” (which won for actor Timothee Chalamet and for cinematography). But it continued a definite pattern that has developed over the last decade at the Spirit Awards, whose voters are divided between indie-film professionals and fans who pay annual dues to Film Independent.

In recent years, voters have almost invariably gone for Oscar nominees over the smaller, truly indie movies that are selected by the Spirit Award nominating committees. If there’s one Oscar nominee in a category, that nominee will usually win; if there are a couple of nominees, the one with the best chance of winning the Oscar will win the Spirit Award.

And so it went on Saturday. Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell won the Best Female Lead and Best Supporting Male awards for “Three Billboards,” just as they almost certainly will win the Oscars for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. Allison Janney of “I, Tonya” did the same in the Best Supporting Female category, where she’ll likely repeat on Sunday. And the one Spirit Awards acting winner who is apt not to repeat at the Oscars, “Call Me by Your Name” star Timothee Chalamet, is at least one of the nominees who will in all likelihood lose to Gary Oldman.

In other categories, “A Fantastic Woman,” one of the two Oscar nominees in the category, won the Spirit Award for foreign film. Oscar nominee “Faces Places” won in the documentary category. “I, Tonya” won for editing and “The Big Sick” for first screenplay, both categories in which they were the sole Oscar nominee.

But the most significant wins, Best Feature and Best Director, went to Peele and “Get Out,” didn’t sweep through the Spirit Awards categories quite as thoroughly as “Moonlight” did last year or “Silver Linings Playbook” did in 2012. Greta Gerwig’s upset screenplay win for “Lady Bird” made sure of that, along with losses for “Get Out” in the actor and editing categories.

Still, the Spirit Awards sent Peele to the Oscars on a mission that he might just accomplish: keep the streak alive.

Of course, when the “Get Out” filmmakers were asked if they were thinking about the Spirits/Oscars streak in the press room after the show, producer Jason Blum immediately made an elaborate show of shaking his head no.

“Not at all,” he said. “That’s the last thing we were thinking about.”

And then he started laughing.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Oscars Party Report: Brad Pitt, J.J. Abrams and Allison Janney as a Winner in Waiting (Photos)

Oscars 2018: Will 'The Shape of Water' Win Best Picture? (Video)

Oscars: What Movie Won Best Picture at the Most and Least-Watched Academy Awards?

‘Get Out’ Wins Indie Spirit Award for Best Feature

Jordan Peele’s social thriller triumphed over other indie darlings like “Call Me By Your Name” and “Lady Bird.”

Get Out” has taken top honors at the Indie Spirit Awards, winning the prize for Best Picture. The Jordan Peele-directed social thriller beat out fellow nominees “Lady Bird,” “Call Me By Your Name,” “The Florida Project,” and “The Rider.” The film is nominated for the same prize at tomorrow’s Oscars, where it faces competition from front runners “The Shape of Water” and “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

Read More: 2018 Independent Spirit Awards: Winners List (Updating Live)

Best Picture is one of five Indie Spirit Awards that “Get Out” was nominated for this year. The film also competed in the Best Director, Best Male Lead, Best Screenplay, and Best Editing categories. “Get Out” has been one of the most acclaimed titles this awards season, being honored by the National Board of Review, the Gotham Awards, and numerous critics groups.

For the last four years, the winner of the Best Feature prize at the Indie Spirit Awards has gone on to win the Oscar for Best Picture: “Moonlight,” “Spotlight,” “Birdman” and “12 Years A Slave.” “Silver Linings Playbook” was the last Indie Spirit Award winner for Best Feature not to go on to win the Oscar. “Argo” won Best Picture that year.

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