SANTA MONICA — There was some faint hope that this year's Spirit Awards would provide us with a number of winners we aren't expecting to see on Oscar Sunday. Unfortunately, outside of a Screenplay win for "Nightcrawler" and some categories that aren't part of the Academy Awards mix (we're looking at you Best First Screenplay), it simply wasn't meant to be. J.K. Simmons, Patricia Arquette, Julianne Moore, "Boyhood" and "Birdman" took all the major awards just as they will at the Academy Awards. Considering it was the 30th installment of the Spirit Awards, an upset or two would have made the afternoon much more memorable. As for the show itself? Well, does "not bad" count as a response?

Here's the good news: the Spirits benefited from two energetic and involved hosts, Kristen Bell and Fred Armisen, and by finally broadcasting live again after a number of years of unfortunate tape delay (not so smart in this era of social media). There were stars, there were funny skits and some classy speeches. Frankly, while the Spirits are nowhere near as produced as the big four (Emmys, Tonys, Grammys and Oscars) or shows that are basically more about the bits than the awards (any MTV endeavor), it actually can be more entertaining than the BAFTAs or Globes (only the non-Tina Fey and Amy Poehler shows, obviously).  

Did this show hit the heights of 2013 when Andy Samberg knocked it out of the park? Not exactly, but overall, the past three years have provided a consistent level of quality that may be all we can expect from a production that occurs in a makeshift circus tent on the beach in Santa Monica.

Keeping that in mind, check out the Best and Worst of the 2015 Independent Spirit Awards in the embedded gallery below.

One additional note: This pundit predicted 11 of the 14 winners correctly. Not bad if I do say so myself.

Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

With over a decade of experience in the movie industry, Ellwood survived working for two major studios and has written for Variety, MSN and the LA Times. A co-founder of HitFix, Ellwood spends his time relaxing hitting 3’s on the basketball court and following his beloved Clippers.