Award shows, over the past few years have been surrounded by drama.  From #OscarsSoWhite to the La La/Moonlight debacle this year, we are seeing more press around some of these award shows.  Award shows are also becoming a venue for actors and celebrities to voice political concerns.  Which is great since they are the key demographic to make the news, why not use it as an opportunity?  I have to admit, I have never been a huge fan of award shows.  My friends in university would host Grammy parties, and while I always thought it would be fun, it never really was for me.  Not because I didn’t like the movies being nominated, but because I don’t like how we determine “the best”.  It doesn’t always make sense to me.  Acting is subjective, so what kind of criteria do we use to determine “the best”?

This isn’t a new topic.  It’s quite a well known fact that most of the people voting on the Academy Awards have traditionally been older white men.  And obviously that is what caused #OscarsSoWhite to trend last year.  And rightfully so.   There seems to have been some changes implemented by the Academy in an attempt to include a more diverse group of voters.  Including people of colour and women.  Maybe that’s what we started to see last night.  Which I think is great, but I didn’t want to turn this into an Oscar’s post.  I wanted to use this to talk about a much lesser known awards show that always happens the day before the Oscar’s.  Maybe you’ve heard of it – the Film Independent Spirit Awards.

I love a good indie band, song, movie or novel.  If it was independently made, for some reason I am drawn to it.  I like when things are different.  That maybe aren’t your average “main stream” film.  And maybe that’s what is drawing me to this type of award show over the Oscar’s.  Or maybe I’m just tired out from all the drama, and needed something to laugh about.  First of all, the Spirit Awards take place every year in advance of the Oscar’s.  The ceremony is held in a tent next to the Santa Monica Pier, and the awards are chosen by members.  And anyone can be a member!  There is a fee, but the intent is to foster a love for the movies.

While there were some “main stream” films, such as Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea that took home honours, there were some other less known films that received awards.  Molly Shannon won “Best Supporting Female” for her role in Other People.  While the premise of the movie is sad, it gives a realistic view of a family dealing with cancer.

Another reason to watch the Spirit Awards – the hosts!  Yes, the Oscar’s almost always hit a home run with the opening monologue, but so did the Spirit Awards this year.  Nick Kroll and John Mulaney hosted providing the audience with political humour around the current presidential administration, to making jokes about the actual movies themselves.  Warren Beatty was in the audience with his wife Annette Benning, and the hosts did a humourous “cut away” where they made fun of his name and then admitted to having gotten high before the show.  The hosts went so far as to insinuate (in an extremely funny way) that no one watches the Spirit Awards so think twice about the long winded political speech you want to make when accepting your award.  If you want to view the entire monologue, check out this link from the Hollywood Reporter.

And why are there so many less viewers?  My guess is that most people are too politically correct right now.  I’m not saying that it’s a good thing or a bad thing.  It just is.  We are too afraid to laugh at ourselves or the situations around us, and we often get lost in the seriousness of it all.  Yes, the Oscar’s are a great awards show with many incredible actors and performances being recognized, but this is something that you would never see at the Oscar’s:

Sure, maybe a bit in poor taste, but like I said – we are too politically correct and need to remember that there is humour in the world.  It doesn’t diminish the movie’s or the performances themselves.  It provides people with an outlet or the ability to escape from their reality for a short period of time.  I encourage you to make the Spirit Awards part of your Oscar’s weekend in 2018.

By Staff Writer

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