It used to be somewhat of a given that the Best Feature winner of the annual Independent Spirit Awards was a better film then the Best Picture winner of the Academy Awards. “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”, “Memento” and “Far from Heaven” were the first three recipients of the Indie Spirits top honor last decade. And as if to prove my point, there is NO WAY IN HELL that the first trio of Oscar winners from the same time period were superior to these three(btw, the movies are “Gladiator”, “A Beautiful Mind” and “Chicago”). Then later in the decade, when mediocrities like “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Juno” garnered the top prize, I began to doubt that I could count on the Spirits any longer. However, the prestige of the honor may go a long way towards restoration for this writer, if they crown the correct champion this season. And so far(I have not visited all the nominees just yet), I intend to lead the cheering section for the magical “Moonrise Kingdom” from director Wes Anderson. If you regularly read this blog, you are aware that I am a HUGE fan of this film. It’s a charming, youthful journey that grossed four times its budget worldwide(over 65 million dollars have been raked in since May). It’s been met with financial acclaim and critical praise. And now it has tallied the most nominations(tied with “Silver Linings Playbook”)from the respected Indie Spirits with 5 total. So, along with its Film and Director recognition, it is also being singled out for its excellent screenplay from Anderson and Roman Coppola(Francis Ford’s son & Sofia’s bro). Rounding out the quintet is Robert Yeoman for his enchanting cinematography, and Bruce Willis has been chosen from a roster of stupendous actors for his support work in the film. It’s an ensemble piece, but make no mistake—Bruce is quite good. So, one award, two awards, or a clean sweep—you can be certain that I will be rooting for “Moonrise Kingdom” and its creators come the evening before the Academy Awards(that’s traditionally when the Spirits are handed out). Hey, maybe it will be in the running on Oscar night too! I’m not naive enough to think this little film can capture that prize…but to be amongst the field would be nice. Award season has arrived folks! Go, “Moonrise”!!!
“Moonrise Kingdom” rules the Indie Spirit noms!!!