Lee Daniels' Precious - a drama about the coming of age of an abused, obese Harlem teenager - won big at the Spirit Awards last night. It picked up the best film and best first screenplay gongs, Daniels was named best director, while star Gabourey Sidibe and co-star Mo'Nique took the best actress and suppoorting actress awards for their central mum and daughter roles.
Picking up the award at the LA bash hosted by Eddie Izzard, Sidibe said: "I'm so excited. I'm kind of a dork."
The list of nominees shows a lot of crossover with the Oscars this year - where Precious is also heavily nominated. Jeff Bridges - hotly tipped to win the best actor statuette on Sunday - was named best actor for his role in Crazy Heart (which was named best first feature) and Woody Harrelson was named best supporting actor for his role in The Messenger, a success he would also like to repeat at the Oscars.
Conspicuous by its absence in the nominations list is The Hurt Locker, which has been gathering a large amount of ink elsewhere as the Oscars loom. This is because it was, in fact, included among last year's nominees. Interestingly, back then - cynics might say before all the Bigelow/Cameron Avatar rivalry hype - it wasn't even nominated in the best film and director lists and though Jeremy Renner and Anthony Mackie had acting nods, both of them lost out.
Another surprise, for British readers at least, will be the fact that An Education was named best foreign film. The Carey Mulligan starrer, also hoping for some Oscar success, seems an unlikely candidate but the Spirit Awards class foreign as anything shot outwith the US. They'll certainly have been pleased to triumph over A Prophet, which has been garnering awards elsewhere.
Another interesting twist in the awards evening was the announcement of Anvil: The Story Of Anvil as best documentary. It was, in fact, nominated last year in the Stranger Than Fiction category, where it lost to The Order Of Myths.
The full list of winners and nominees is below:
Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman, The Messenger
Michael Hoffman, The Last Station
Lee Toland Krieger, The Vicious Kind
Greg Mottola, Adventureland
Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, (500) Days of Summer
Best Foreign Film
A Prophet , directed by Jacques Audiard
An Education, directed by Lone Scherfig
Everlasting Moments, directed by Jan Troell
Mother, directed by Bong Joon-ho
The Maid, directed by Sebastián Silva
Acura Someone to Watch Award
Kyle Patrick Alvarez, Easier With Practice
Tariq Tapa, Zero Bridge
Asiel Norton, Redland
Robert Altman Award
A Serious Man