Ahead of Sunday's Oscars, Silver Linings Playbook is already a big winner at the 28th annual Film Independent Spirit Awards, where it took home the day's top honor of best feature, as well as best lead female for Jennifer Lawrence. David O. Russell, for his part, received trophies for best director and best screenplay.
"The last time I held one of these in my hands was 19 years ago for best first feature," Russell said from the podium, holding his new hardware. "My son was 1 year old, and he grew up to be a man who taught me about a lot of things. He gave me this movie, so I want to thank him."
Russell's son was in the audience, captured by cameras sitting next to the film's star Bradley Cooper.
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The ceremony also saw big wins for The Sessions, with Helen Hunt taking best supporting female and John Hawkes best lead male. Matthew McConaughey laughed his way through an acceptance speech for best supporting male, which he won for his role as a stripper in Magic Mike.
"I had to take my pants off to win a trophy, I had to drop trou to win an award," he sang, adding: "F--- yeah!" But it wasn't all jokes for McConaughey, who praised the independent film mentality of "talk about it less and do more." Backstage, however, he did allow that "there were weeklong talks about the thong," in reference to his infamous costume in the film.
The Jameson Irish Whiskey brand got more than it bargained for while sponsoring the event, when the first winner of the ceremony arrived at the podium -- seemingly after enjoying a few too many glasses of the product.
Near the end of Derek Connelly's lengthy, rambling speech, after winning best first screenplay for Safety Not Guaranteed, Bryan Cranston even hit the stage to pour a small bottle of the product into Connelly's glass. The writer was eventually ushered off stage.
"I wanna know what's in the first screenplay's punch," quipped McConaughey, who hit the stage shortly thereafter. "Where's Connelly? Wherever you are, man, way to take your time. He rocked it."
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Among the brands receiving a bit more positive press from the event was Piaget, which bestowed its producers award on Mynette Louie. Before and after the ceremony, guests mingled in the Piaget and Hollywood Reporter tent backstage, where they were photographed and interviewed by the publication.
Unsurprisingly, Michael Haneke's Amour won best international film, while Stephen Chbosky took home the honor of best first feature for his Perks of Being a Wallflower.
"I literally never won an award, so I don't know [what to do]," he told reporters backstage.
For a complete list of winners, click here.
Andy Samberg hosted the festivities, and while he starred in Celeste and Jesse Forever -- up for best first screenplay -- the comedian acknowledged that most of his resume has been built outside of the indie world.
"Even though my movies haven't all been indie, the box office results have been pretty much the same," he joked. "So we're bonded."
Among the other highlights of Samberg's hosting duties was a pre-taped sketch, in which the Saturday Night Live alum reimagined Beasts of the Southern Wild as Beasts It. Donning an afro wig, Jack Black stars as Hush Puppy while the duo engage in various extreme activities. Following the clip, cameras cut to a befuddled Quvenzhane Wallis, who could be seen mouthing, "What?"
Email: Sophie.Schillaci@THR.com; Twitter: @SophieSchillaci
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