The 2020 Independent Spirit Awards were handed out tonight, hosted for the second straight year by the hilarious Aubrey Plaza, and for the most part it went according to plan. In her opening bit, Plaza poked fun at the changing landscape for independent cinema, a popular target for show hosts, with the emergence of so many streaming services. Some of that was reflected in the winners, with a good number of them debuting on subscription platforms.
It was a big night for Lulu Wang’s The Farewell, which took home the Best Feature Award, and a surprising victory for Zhao Shuzhen in the Best Supporting Actress category. Despite a campaign to get her recognized, Shuzhen was snubbed by the Oscars. Taking Best Director was the Safdie Brothers for their high-energy New York thriller, Uncut Gems, which also earned Adam Sandler the Best Actor win. In what is likely a prelude to Oscar night, Renee Zellweger won Best Female Lead for her performance in Judy. Shocking no one, Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite won for Best International Film, a title it’s likely to claim from the Academy, as well.
As far as surprises go, the Spike Lee-produced sci-fi film See You Yesterday winning Best First Screenplay was a welcome one. Olivia Wilde overcame a very contentious field to win Best First Feature for her comedy Booksmart, while popular pick The Last Black Man in San Francisco ended the night empty-handed.
Full list of winners below!
BEST FEATURE – The Farewell
BEST FIRST FEATURE – Booksmart
BEST FEMALE LEAD – Renee Zellweger, Judy
BEST MALE LEAD – Adam Sandler, Uncut Gems
BEST DIRECTOR Benny and Josh Safdie – Uncut Gems
BEST DOCUMENTARY – American Factory, directors Julia Reichart, Steven Bognar
BEST SUPPORTING MALE – Willem Dafoe, The Lighthouse
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE – Zhao Shuzhen, The Farewell
BEST SCREENPLAY- Marriage Story, Noah Baumbach
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY – See You Yesterday, Fredrica Bailey, Stefon Bristol
BEST EDITING: Uncut Gems – Benny Safdie, Ronald Bronstein
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY – Jarin Blaschke, The Lighthouse
BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM – Parasite, Bong Joon Ho
ROBERT ALTMAN AWARD – Marriage Story
Noah Baumbach, Douglas Aibel, Francine Maisler, Alan Alda, Laura Dern, Adam Driver, Julie Hagerty, Scarlett Johansson, Ray Liotta, Azhy Robertson, Merritt Wever
JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD – Give Me Liberty
PRODUCERS AWARD — Mollye Asher
SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD -Rashaad Ernesto Green, director of Premature
TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD Nadia Shihab, director of Jabboland
THE BONNIE AWARD – Kelly Reichardt