Independent Spirit Awards: ‘Get Out’ wins best picture and best director

On eve of Oscars Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell win awards for Martin McDonagh’s ‘Three Billboards’

Get Out was the big winner at a sodden, rain-swept Film Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, California, on Saturday, winning best feature and best director for Jordan Peele a day before Hollywood's biggest night of the year.

Timothée Chalamet won best male lead for his performance in Call Me by Your Name, Allison Janney won best supporting actress for I, Tonya, and Martin McDonagh's Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri yielded prizes for Sam Rockwell (best supporting actor) and Frances McDormand (best actress). Once onstage, dressed in pajamas and fuzzy slippers, McDormand expressed relief that this was one awards show she could curse at.

“I continue to be amazed that you let me get to the microphone. What, are you crazy?” she said. “But what I know about today is that I get to swear. Do you know how hard it’s been not to swear over the last couple of months? Because this award convention goes on forever,” she said, throwing in an f-bomb.

Other winners included Greta Gerwig, who took best screenplay for Lady Bird; Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani, who won best first screenplay for The Big Sick; A Fantastic Woman took the best international film award and Faces Places was named best documentary.


Held in a massive tent steps from the Santa Monica Pier, the Indie Spirits are the looser, fancy-free antecedent to Sunday's ultra-formal Oscars and generally feature hip, youngish and irreverent hosts – this year it was Nick Kroll and John Mulaney. along with cameos from Saturday Night Live performers, past and present. This year proved no exception: Kristen Wiig did a bit as a 110-year-old actress, and Andy Samberg sang a send-up of Don't You (Forget About Me)," dressed like Judd Nelson in The Breakfast Club, which featured the Simple Minds song.

This year, thanks to inclement California weather – it rained for nearly two days – it was a wet and chilly affair. The floor inside was drenched: Janney said the train of her dress was soaked, Chalamet nearly slipped on his way to the stage (and then appeared to apologise to the floor), and performer after performer warned one another that it was slippery onstage.

"I am so honoured receiving this award here onstage on this Wakandan laundromat that you see before you," Peele said after he accepted the director's award from Spike Lee.

The Indie Spirits celebrate films with a budget cap of $20 million and are somewhat predictive of eventual Oscar winners. McDormand, Rockwell and Janney are heavy favourites, as are the films A Fantastic Woman and Faces Places. – New York Times Service