Ballet thriller wins best pic, director, actress; Franco wins actor
“Black Swan” dominated the Spirit Awards, winning best picture, best actress for Natalie Portman and best director for Darren Aronofsky.Fox Searchlight’s ballet thriller topped “127 Hours,” “Greenberg,” “The Kids Are All Right” and “Winter’s Bone. It also won the cinematography award for Matthew Libatique. “Swan” producer Mike Medavoy, who has credits on over 315 films, credited Aronofsky with the key contribution. “His vision got the film made,” he said. Portman topped all the other actresses contending for an Oscar – Annette Bening, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence and Michelle Williams along with Greta Gerwig. James Franco won for best actor for “127 Hours.” Dale Dickey and John Hawkes won the supporting categories for “Winter’s Bone.” “It was a crazy crazy experience,” Franco said of the true-life drama in his acceptance Saturday afternoon. “I don’t think there will ever be another film like it.” Franco was the only Spirits nominee also up for an Oscar in the category. He topped Ronald Bronstein for “Daddy Longlegs,” Aaron Eckhart for “Rabbit Hole,” John C. Reilly for “Cyrus,” and Ben Stiller for “Greenberg.” Lisa Cholodenko and Stuart Blumberg won the screenplay trophy for “The Kids Are All Right.” Eligibility for the awards, conducted by Film Independent, is limited to US films made for under $20 million. “The King’s Speech” won the foreign language trophy — the only category in which it was eligible. The 26th annual awards show returned to its usual spot in a beachside tent in Santa Monica amid chilly winds. “Exit Through the Gift Shop” took the documentary award with Thierry Guetta accepting on behalf of the mysterious Banksy. “Get Low” won the first feature for director Aaron Schneider and producers David Gundlach and Dean Zanuck. Lena Dunham won the best first screenplay award for drama-comedy “Tiny Furniture.” Joel McHale emceed the event. “I immersed myself in independent film through a grueling 10-minute Google search,” he told the audience.