Thursday, May 30, 2024

“Birdman” Wins Spirit Awards, Which Are Now a Rehearsal for the Oscars


There used to be a time when the Spirit Awards would be different and more daring than the Oscars. Now they are a rehearsal for it. Everyone who won today will win something tomorrow night. The only difference will be a lot of songs to distract us. Richard Linklater didn’t show up today, and he won Best Director for “Boyhood.” No one seemed to know what was up with that, but I’m told there’s bad blood between Linklater and Film Independent for some reason. Ethan Hawke accepted for him, saying “I’m not Richard Linklater. I just play him in the movies.”

After the show, I ran into Jessica Chastain, who herself had just  met the real life people from the movie “Virunga.” She was overwhelmed, took pictures with  them, offered all her help. She said, “What these men did for the gorillas is so extraordinary, and we’re just here at an awards show.” She’d also just arrived from Budapest and was very jet lagged.

Fred Armisen and Kristen Bell were very good hosts. Armisen is musical, funny, creative, witty. I loved their little film satirizing “Birdman.”


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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