By John H. Foote

On the eve of the Academy Awards, each year on a beach under a tent, the Independent Spirit Awards are handed out for excellence in independent cinema. The film must have been made for less than $25 million, and these awards have helped further the art of “indie” cinema, drawing attention to the smaller films that might not otherwise find an audience.

Lulu Wang’s fine film The Farewell, snubbed by the Academy, was named Best Picture, also winning Best Supporting Actress for Zhao Shuzhen who could not attend, grounded in China with the virus.

In the evening’s most popular award, Adam Sandler won Best Actor for his electrifying performance in Uncut Gems, which should have earned the comic an Oscar nomination. His speech was one of the high points of the night, earning great laughs and wild applause.

Renee Zellweger continued her march to the Oscars with another win for Judy, the Judy Garland film, truly a performance for the ages.

Laura Dern won Best Supporting Actress for Marriage Story, while Noah Baumbach won for his screenplay of the same film.

Willem Dafoe was a surprise winner for Best Supporting Actor in The Lighthouse, a performance many felt also should have earned attention from the Academy. The film, a surrealistic horror picture, also won the prize for Best Cinematography.

Parasite, the popular film from South Korea, took Best International Film honours, and Booksmart, the directorial debut of actress Olivia Wilde, won Best First Feature.

Tonight, awards season comes to an end with the Oscars. Anyone else going to be relieved?

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