The harrowing drama Precious has swept to victory at the Independent Spirit Awards, taking five prizes including best feature. Its stars Gabourey Sidibe and Mo’Nique took the best female lead and best supporting female lead. The awards, which celebrate independent film, took place in Los Angeles two days before the Oscars. Many Oscar nominees attended, including British actors Colin Firth, Helen Mirren and Carey Mulligan. Mulligan’s An Education won best foreign film while Jeff Bridges was named best actor. Woody Harrelson scooped best supporting actor for his role in the war-on-terror drama The Messenger. The awards ceremony, celebrating its 25th anniversary, had moved from its Santa Monica beach location to a tented car park in central Los Angeles. The event was hosted by Eddie Izzard.

Other winners included Crazy Heart for best first feature and Anvil! The Story of Anvil for best documentary. The heavy metal band Anvil played twice during the ceremony. Bridges, who is front runner to win the best actor Oscar, also performed one of the songs from Crazy Heart. The 60-year-old Hollywood veteran, who has never won an Oscar, said that he was “not counting any chickens. Precious also won the screenplay award for Geoffrey Fletcher, while Lee Daniels took best director.

It’s very interesting to find out how many there are asked how he would top the speech at the Oscars, he replied: “I’m not sure I’ll get the chance. I think I might have peaked.” Joel and Ethan Coen’s A Serious Man – nominated alongside Avatar and Hurt Locker for best picture at the Oscars, won the Robert Altman Award presented for a movie in the spirit of the ensemble films of the l”ate director. The film followed the woes of a Jewish professor whose life is falling apart. Iraq bomb disposal drama The Hurt Locker was not eligible for the Spirits this year because it was nominated in 2009.

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