A day before it may soar at the Oscars, "Birdman" spread its wings at the 30th Independent Film Spirit Awards, winning best picture and best actor for Michael Keaton.
The elegantly stitched together backstage comedy was the big winner at the annual afternoon beachside celebration of independent film on Saturday. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "Birdman" won over what many consider its stiffest competition, the 12-years-in-the-making "Boyhood," though that film's maker, Richard Linklater, still took the directing honor.
As Hollywood has increasingly devoted itself to global blockbuster and superheros, the Spirit Awards — once a casual indie appetizer to the Oscars — feels more and more like the center of the industry, or at least a more idealized version of it.
Inarritu said the event celebrated "the cinema that is being forgotten."
The complete list of winners:
- Best Feature: "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
- Best Director: Richard Linklater, "Boyhood"
- Best Screenplay: Dan Gilroy, "Nightcrawler"
- Best First Feature: "Nightcrawler"
- Best First Screenplay: Justin Simien, "Dear White People"
- John Cassavetes Award (For best feature made under $500,000): "Land Ho!"
- Best Supporting Female: Patricia Arquette, "Boyhood"
- Best Supporting Male: J.K. Simmons, "Whiplash"
- Best Female Lead: Julianne Moore, "Still Alice"
- Best Male Lead: Michael Keaton, "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
- Robert Altman Award: "Inherent Vice"
- Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
- Best Editing: Tom Cross, "Whiplash"
- Best International Film: "Ida" (Poland)
- Best Documentary: "CITIZENFOUR"
- Special Distinction Award: "Foxcatcher"