Spirit Awards 2012: Silver Linings Sweeps Kudos

Feb 23, 2013–“Silver Linings Playbook” dominated at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, taking best feature and lead actress award for Jennifer Lawrence with David O. Russell winning trophies for best director and screenplay.

“The Sessions” aslo scored with a best actor win for John Hawkes and a supporting actress victory for Helen Hunt. Hawkes defeated a field that included Bradley Cooper for “Sliver Linings,” the only Spirits nomination that “Silver” didn’t win Saturday.

“This is major,” said Russell in his acceptance Saturday afternoon after winning the directing award. “Silver Linings” is up for eight Oscars, which the filmmaker said was not troubling at all.

“I’m just happy to be going to the World Series,” Russell said backstage. “What’s not good about having a team you love?”

Lawrence, who’s also nominated for an Oscar, gave a short low-key acceptance on winning, “David, Thank you for writing the script, for Tiffany and for challenging me,” said “Silver” producer Bruce Cohen said in his acceptance, “We were sure we weren’t going to win today. And we’re sure we aren’t going to win tomorrow.”

Hawkes credited director Ben Lewin for the best actor prize for “The Sessions.” “Ben Lewin is an amazing storyteller,” said Hawkes “I am glad he took a chance on me.”

Matthew McConaughey won the best supporting actor trophy for his turn as a stripper-turned-strip club owner in Magic Mike.

“I had to take my pants off to win a trophy,” McConaughey sang as he began his acceptance speech. In the press tent, he said, “I needed to play this straight to make this work. It had to be played dead serious.”

Hunt, who is up for an Oscar in the supporting actress category, said it was a “miracle” that Lewin was able to get “Sessions” made. “I got to dance with the sexiest dance partner ever, even though he never moved – John Hawkes,” said Hunt said in her acceptance

“Amour” took home the prize for best international film and “Starlet” nabbed the Robert Altman Award.

Derek Connolly won the best first screenplay prize for his work on “Safety Not Guaranteed,” while Stephen Chbosky won for first feature for “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” Cbosky said in the press tent that he’d had a “wonderful, surreal” moment when he met musician Morrissey on Friday and received praise about the film. He also said he was unnerved during his acceptance. “I was just trying to remember to thank my wife,” he said.

Andy Samberg emceed the event, which was again held in Santa Monica in a beachside tent.

And the winners are:

BEST FEATURE: “Silver Linings Playbook”

BEST ACTOR: John Hawkes – “The Sessions”

BEST ACTRESS: Jennifer Lawrence – “Silver Linings Playbook”

BEST DIRECTOR: David O. Russell – “Silver Linings Playbook”

BEST DOCUMENTARY: “The Invisible War”

BEST SCREENPLAY: “Silver Linings Playbook” – David O. Russell

SPECIAL DISTINCTION: Harris Savides

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Ben Richardson – “Beasts of the Southern Wild”

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE: Helen Hunt – “The Sessions”

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD: “Middle of Nowhere”

BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM: “Amour”

ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD: “Starlet”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Matthew McConaughey – “Magic Mike”

FIRST FEATURE: “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” – Director: Stephen Chbosky

FIRST SCREENPLAY: Derek Connolly – “Safety Not Guaranteed”

PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD: Mynette Louie – “California Solo”

STELLA ARTOIS TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD: Peter Nicks – “Waiting Room”

SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD: Adam Leon – “Gimme the Loot”