Best Of The 2019 Spirit Awards: Barry Jenkins, Aubrey Plaza, Glenn Close’s Dog Pippy

The Playlist | 2/23/2019 | Gregory Ellwood
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It’s easy to rag on Oscar’s little brother (or sister). The Film Independent Spirit Awards are held in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica and aired on little-watched IFC. But considering the lack of budget compared to the Oscars or even Golden Globes, what IFC and Film Independent are able to pull off is often more fun, classier and stylish than the big boys.

And sure, the show has problems. It is basically been the same structure and breakdown for the last decade. At times that means it all feels a little stagnant whether you’re watching on TV or in the increasingly chilly tent. While the non-competitive Robert Altman honor is prestigious, it feels out of place at the end of awards season (the recently added Bonnie Award is a much better idea). You almost wonder if the show needs a lifetime achievement of some kind at this point in its history to get the emotions going.

Year - Spirits - Highlights - Highlights - Host

That being said, we’re dropping the “worst” as we reflect on this year’s Spirits because they are a little too “same old, same old.” Plus, the highlights were highlights that really popped. Starting with the host, Aubrey Plaza.

They had me at Sharon Stone. Or maybe Bryan Tyree Henry. Or maybe Marcia Gay Harden burning her Oscar into a gold dagger. Or maybe Finn Wittrock being referred to as “the **** child that bust from the loins of the Netflix algorithm.” This will be legendary in a few years. Can you imagine this on the Academy Awards? In any scenario?

Barry - Jenkins - Stage - Best - Director

We simply do not deserve Barry Jenkins. Not only is he incredibly creative, insightful and giving, but genuinely humble too. He admitted when he got on stage that he didn’t want to win the Best Director award “With everything going on the...
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