With its giant white tent on the sunny Santa Monica, Calif. beach, and the throngs of black-suited, fast-talking Europeans smoking outside, one could easily mistake the Independent Spirit Awards for a Los Angeles annex of the Cannes Film Festival. The event certainly took on an international flavor this year, with The Artist — which premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival — taking home four awards, including Best Feature, Best Male Lead (Jean Dujardin), and Best Director (Michel Hazanavicius). (Check out the full list of winners here.) The bulk of the folks from The Artist only made it to the Indie Spirit tent in time for Hazanavicius’ win, driving directly from the airport after flying in from the César Awards in France. Actress Penelope Ann Miller, who has a small supporting role as the haughty wife of Dujardin’s silent movie star, ended up accepting both her co-star’s award and Guillaume Schiffman’s award for Best Cinematography.
Should The Artist also prevail at the Academy Awards on Sunday evening, as most everyone predicts it will, the silent film will be only the first film since 1986′s Platoon to win the top prize at both the Indie Spirits and the Oscars. READ FULL STORY