In a normal year I would have been working on an interesting blood-Jameson content on the beach of Santa Monica today. Film Independent's Spirit Awards are, after all, the great stretch of the legs at the tail end of the season with the big Sunday showdown on the horizon. It's a good party, even if it still seems to be chasing what "independent filmmaking" is in this day and age. (I don't know that they've caught it.)

Nevertheless, it's a good bridesmaid roll call for films like "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and "Silver Linigns Playbook" to have their day while Oscar's heavies go at it the following day. But there is the rare occasion, like a Harvey Weinstein player last year, that dominates both ceremonies and feels like synergy, if for a moment. Could that play out again?

This year, alas, I was trying to catch a ray of that Southern California sunshine (it was an annoyingly nice day over there) via Twitter from my rain-drizzled New York hovel. That distance from the lion's den, by the way, has been an interesting and illuminating experience this year.

The show will air tonight on IFC at 10pm ET. If you'd like to stay spoiler free (though I guess the headline pretty much took care of that), hold off and watch at home. Otherwise, follow along with today's winner announcements and on-going commentary below. But before that, a little pre-game fun from Roadside Attractions:

Moving on to the actual ceremony…

Best First Screenplay: Derek Connolly, "Safety Not Guaranteed"

Comments: Vindication for the Indiana Film Journalists Association! "Beasts of the Southern Wild" isn't the only film lasting the big bad breadth of the season since Sundance. Apparently Connolly was wasted during his speech. And was ultimately escorted out the tent by security. When you have tubs of Jameson on the table...

Best First Film: Stephen Chbosky, "The Perks of Being a Wallflower"

Comments: Despite the fact, that, you know, it's not his first feature. Way to track that research down, guys. Nevertheless, this was a stellar film that should have gone farther this season. I kind of wish I had been louder about it myself.

Best Supporting Male: Matthew McConaughey, "Magic Mike"

Comments: And expect to be hearing plenty more from him around this time next year. Between "Mud," "The Wolf of Wall Street" and "The Dallas Buyers Club," with plenty of goodwill from performances like this one, "Killer Joe" and "The Paperboy" from 2012, he's bound to set serious sail, right? "I had to drop my drawers to win an award," he said. Too true...

Piaget Producers Award: Mynette Louie

Chaz and Roger Ebert Fellowship: "Mr. SOUL!"

Robert Altman Award: "Starlet"

Comments: Gotta say, I never saw this one. But I'm intrigued. Also a nominee for the John Cassavetes Award.

Best International Film: "Amour"

Comments: Naturally. The question remains what it's able to pull down tomorrow night. And intriguingly, the Best Foreign Language Film category may not be one of them. We'll see how it plays out.

CONTINUE READING "'Silver Linings Playbook' dominates 2013 Film Independent Spirit Awards

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