The Wrestler and Frozen River were big winners today at the 2009 Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, California. The live show went down almost perfectly as Steve Coogan pulled off a fairly decent job as host. I haven’t seen Hamlet 2, but he certainly has theatrical talent. His opening monologue was uptight funny, very British, and slightly dry with a hint of fear.
The show opened with a Ben Stiller clip as Coogan emerged stage left, like a short hair ferret. He looked nothing like his characters from Tropic Thunder or Hamlet 2. He had a decent opening, but his best moment and the funniest part of the show was when he came out to present the award for Best Documentary. Christian Bale is announced along with Joaquin Phoenix, what we get is Coogan in full (Adam West version) Batman suit along with Joaquin Phoenix (Frank Corraci) as the non acting freak rapper that he’s been pimpin. All of this comes together in a perfect storm of Bale (Coogan) going Christian Bale on Phoenix for turning into a drugged out rappin freak. Ah I haven’t laughed so hard In days.
Rainn Wilson also pulled off the second funniest bit of the show as he came out as “The Ram in full fake dreds and beer belly'” as he performed the song tribute to The Wrestler. Very funny stuff!!!
On to the awards part of the show. Well I was correct in over 50% of my picks, but I was hoping to do better. It was great to see Rachael Getting Married loosing in every category. That film shouldn’t even have been nominated (IMO). The super’uber “Oprah” chick flick wormed its way into the voting but it was stopped by the Metal, and thrown to the ground! Frozen River did sweep like I predicted in its nominations prompting a very entertaining and slightly drunk acceptance speech by Melissa Leo (the female Mickey Rourke). The film definitely looks interesting, I’m going to review it asap!
The real deal of the show was Mickey “Fucking” Rourke! Wow everyone seemed to know he was going to win from the very second he arrived to the gig. He showed up and went right to the fans signing autographs like a baseball player. The fans loved him and were shouting Mickey, Mickey!!! He later went on to an extended blue carpet walk and took pictures with anyone that wanted one. The award for best actor followed the Rainn Wilson bit. Everyone was waiting for it, the drama was thick and the anticipation of a classic Rourke speech was heavy. Then it came and he was on stage. He didn’t disappoint as he delivered his most entertaining acceptance speech yet! Aronofsky later came up to accept the Best Film award for The Wrestler and that really capped off the night. The Wrestler cleaned up and I can tell you that if Rourke looses to Sean Penn tonight on the Oscars, your gonna miss out on a great acceptance speech.
Hope you all get to see the show, it will be re-running on AMC if you missed it.
Here are the official results:
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
James Franco – Milk
BEST FIRST SCREENPLAY
Dustin Lance Black – Milk
BEST FIRST FEATURE
Charlie Kaufman, Anthony Bregman, Spike Jonze and Sidney Kimmel – (Synecdoche, New York)
BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE
Penelope Cruz – Vicky Christina Barcelona
JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD
In Search of a Midnight Kiss
BEST FOREIGN FILM
The Class, Entres Les Murs
BEST MALE LEAD
Mickey Rourke – The Wrestler
ACURA SOMEONE TO WATCH AWARD
Lynn Shelton – My Effortless Brilliance
PIAGET PRODUCERS AWARD
Heather Rae – Frozen River
LACOSTE TRUER THAN FICTION AWARD
Margaret Brown – The Order of Myths
Woody Allen – Vicky Christina Barcelona
Man on a Wire
Tom McCarthy – The Visitor
BEST FEMALE LEAD
Melissa Leo – Frozen River
The Wrestler (RAM JAM!!!!)
Below you will find a few pictures of the event. (Click the images to make them bigger)