SANTA MONICA, Calif. – Jordan Peele's “Get Out” won best film and best director Saturday at the 33rd Independent Film Spirit Awards, a day before the horror sensation will vie for top honors at the Academy Awards. The wins for Peele's directorial debut gave the Spirits something unusual: a box-office behemoth. Made for just $4.5 million, “Get Out” grossed $255 million worldwide.
“We are in the beginning of a renaissance right now, where stories from the outsider, stories from the people in this room, the same stories that independent filmmakers have been telling for years are being honored and recognized and celebrated,” Peele said.
Held in a beachside tent on a floor soaked through from rain, the Spirit Awards are the dressed-down, boozy prelude to tonight's Academy Awards.
But as the Oscars have gravitated toward honoring indie films, the two have come closer to mirroring each other. The last four Spirit winners for best film (“Moonlight,” “Spotlight,” “Birdman,” “12 Years a Slave”) have won best picture at the Oscars.
The Spirits are also a party to mark the (almost) end of a long and sometimes repetitive awards season.
“I continue to be amazed that you let me get to the microphone. What are you crazy?” said Frances McDormand, who again won best actress for her performance in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” “Do you know how hard it's been not to swear over the last couple of months? Because this awards convention goes on for (expletive) forever.”