Friday, February 28, 2014

Patton Oswalt Will Be the Biggest Fan at the Film Independent Spirit Awards

Photo Courtesy of IFC

While some mega-stars will spend Saturday night getting their beauty sleep for Oscar day, a far hipper band of movie-making brethren will be gathered to celebrate the Film Independent Spirit Awards. Although it seems each year, the crossover between the two events gets larger, this is still the place for the lesser known (and funded) fare to get their dues, too. In a recent conference call, host Patton Oswalt, explained what sets this show apart from all the others. “This awards show digs pretty deep in trying to find movies that took risks and rolled the dice… It rewards people that are clearly emerging and are going to be doing great stuff with their careers.  You get to see them early.”  

Of course, with the ever-changing entertainment climate, a lot of veteran actors will be popping up at the award show as well. “What I also love is that they keep an eye open for veterans like Robert Redford and Bruce Dern who continue to take risks and seek out challenging, different materials.”

Being a cinefile himself, Oswalt has his own opens about what projects he think deserve a flying bird this year. “The Spectacular Now, I thought was fantastic. Enough Said.  I hope Enough Said wins everything that it gets nominated for.  The documentary, The Act of Killing, I thought it was crucial — hard to watch, but crucial.  Then I really hope that Bruce Dern gets wins for ‘Nebraska’ because I thought he was just amazing.  That guy has had awards coming for a long time in my opinion.  That would be great.”

His back Dern is not meant to be a sign of disrespect to fellow Best Actor nominee Matthew McConaughey. Anyone who follows Oswalt on Twitter knows he’s a mega-fan of the star’s new series True Detectives. And like many people, he’s been impressed with the Dallas Buyer Club lead’s recent resurgence. “I’ll be honest. I didn’t see it coming, but now that it’s happening, he’s like the most vital, best actor working. It’s kind of incredible and he’s doing it now on all fronts. The only thing I can think of that he would do next is a play somewhere.  I wouldn’t put that beyond his abilities at this point.”  

Established icons aside, the night is really about the future of cinema. And as Oswalt pointed, out they’re not just a barometer of who might take home awards the next night but much further down the road as well, “The Independent Spirit Awards are an important predictor of who you’re going to be rooting for in The Oscars, like ten years down the road,” noted the host. “That’s what makes it so exciting for me is that this is like giving an award to Martin Scorsese in 1971 for Who’s That Knocking on My Door? You’re seeing people at the beginning of their – I hate to use the word ‘journey,’ but this really is. These are the future masters that you’re watching when they’re young.”

That’s just one of the reasons that Oswalt is feeling the pressure to do a good job on Saturday night. “It makes it that much more crucial and stressful for me,” he conceded. “I really want to do well by these guys because these are the people that are going to be making the movies down the road that we’re going to be fighting over at The Oscars.”

Besides, he admitted there’s another reason he wants to be a good host, “Because I am the film buff I am, I hope that I do a good job.  But I’m going to be very honest with you, I’m going into this very, very excited but also very, very nervous.  We will see what happens.”

As a result, Oswalt will do some rigorous prep before the big night. “I watch as many movies as I can.  I huddle with all my funny comedian friends and we sit and write jokes.  I try to be very, very aware of who is going to be there.”

Still, he acknowledged that there’s only so much he can do in advance, “Like when I host other award shows, it comes down to the night of the show.  You really have to watch the show and be aware of what’s going on out there and just bring that out to what you’re doing.  Every time you go back out on the stage, be present, because stuff is happening all around you.  You’ve got to comment on it.”  

Tune into to the Film Independent Spirit Awards airs March 1st at 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. Central on IFC.

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