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Precious sweeps indie film awards ahead of Oscars

Category: Entertainment

Published: 6th Mar 2010 10:48:12

The harrowing drama Precious has swept to victory at the Independent Spirit Awards, taking five prizes including best feature.

Its stars Gabourey Sidibe and Mo'Nique took the best female lead and best supporting female lead.

The awards, which celebrate independent film, took place in Los Angeles two days before the Oscars.

Many Oscar nominees attended, including British actors Colin Firth, Helen Mirren and Carey Mulligan.

Mulligan's An Education won best foreign film while Jeff Bridges was named best actor. Woody Harrelson scooped best supporting actor for his role in the war-on-terror drama The Messenger.

The awards ceremony, celebrating its 25th anniversary, had moved from its Santa Monica beach location to a tented car park in central Los Angeles. The event was hosted by Eddie Izzard.

'We've won already'

Other winners included Crazy Heart for best first feature and Anvil! The Story of Anvil for best documentary. The heavy metal band Anvil played twice during the ceremony.

Bridges, who is front runner to win the best actor Oscar, also performed one of the songs from Crazy Heart.

The 60-year-old Hollywood veteran, who has never won an Oscar, said that he was "not counting any chickens".

Mo'Nique, who is hotly tipped to win the best supporting actress Oscar, said: "Have I prepared a speech for Sunday? No. No. Why is that? Because I think the universe would say: 'You have a lot of nerve.'"

Precious also won the screenplay award for Geoffrey Fletcher, while Lee Daniels took best director.

When asked about his Oscar chances, he said: "We've won already."

Colin Firth, who went home empty-handed, told the BBC about the response to his "fridge man" speech when he won a Bafta award last month.

He said: "There have been a few fridge men who've popped out of the woodwork! It's very interesting to find out how many there are..."

Asked how he would top the speech at the Oscars, he replied: "I'm not sure I'll get the chance. I think I might have peaked."

Joel and Ethan Coen's A Serious Man - nominated alongside Avatar and Hurt Locker for best picture at the Oscars, won the Robert Altman Award presented for a movie in the spirit of the ensemble films of the late director.

The film followed the woes of a Jewish professor whose life is falling apart.

Iraq bomb disposal drama The Hurt Locker was not eligible for the Spirits this year because it was nominated in 2009.

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BBC News, 2010. Precious sweeps indie film awards ahead of Oscars [Online] (Updated 6th Mar 2010)
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