Spirit Awards 2019: Host Aubrey Plaza

The 2019 Film Independent Spirit Awards chose a good host this year, Aubrey Plaza, for its annual ceremony, held in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, California.

Picking up the hosting job from previous Spirit Awards hosts John Mulaney and Nick Kroll, Plaza delivered a funny and timely opening.

A pre-taped segment kicked off the ceremony, showing Plaza opposite actresses such as Christina Ricci, Marisa Tomei, and Marcia Gay Harden. The women were conducting a blood oath to help Plaza become this year’s Spirit Awards host. Sharon Stone popped up to present the virgin sacrifice: “Stranger Things” star Finn Wolfhard.

“We shall reject commercial cinema and pledge our lives to the pursuit of dangerous art!” Plaza shouted. “Speak to me Altman, Ashby, Antonioni! Bring me the Payne of Alexander Payne.”

After the video, Plaza began her monologue with criticism of the Oscars: “Welcome to the Spirit Awards, where we celebrate the movies that are too important to see.  The networks’ first choice to host was no one, but they were already booked for tomorrow. So you got me!”

Plaza targeted the Oscars again when she brought attention to the fact that three of the five Spirit Award nominees for Best Director are women.  The Oscars have no women nominated for Best Director.

“Sixty percent of our director nominees are women!” Plaza said. “Don’t get too excited. In this case, 60 percent just means three women. Calling it 60 percent makes it seem way scarier to your uncles. That’s right, Uncle Jeff. Women are taking over!”

Plaza also roasted Netflix: “I do love movies. I truly believe that people should see them how they are meant to be seen. In the theaters!” Plaza said. “I know that if the movie you poured your soul into is on Netflix it will be seen by millions of people as they scroll past it finding the show about folding socks into squares. ‘Tidying up’ or ‘Roma’? Either way you’re going to watch a show about people cleaning up shit, so who cares.”

Plaza then asked why Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” got only one nomination,  for white cast member Adam Driver (Best Supporting Actor). “I’m sure they’ll do the white thing,” Plaza said.

Plaza revealed that John Waters was in the control room directing this year’s telecast for TV viewers. Waters delivered a witty line: “It’s television, Aubrey. Like ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ it doesn’t really have a director. It directs itself. ”