Adam Sandler Called The Oscars ‘Motherf—-ers’ And A Gay Choir Praises Laura Dern As A Gay Icon – Why The Independent Spirits Awards Just Won Award Season

With plenty of meme-able moments, the Spirit Awards just became our favourite award show.

 Laura Dern and Scarlett Johansson attend the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards on February 08, 2020 in Santa Monica, California.

by Esther Newman |
Updated on

So far this awards season we’ve had plenty of brilliant, viral moments. We’ve witnessed Joaquin Phoenix give an impassioned speech about diversity in film, a Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston reunion worthy of a Twitter meltdown and Phoebe Waller-Bridge thanking Obama for adding Fleabag to his end-of-year Best of 2019 list (which yes, does mean that he’s watched that scene). But last night the Film Independent Spirit Awards just blew that out of the water.

Perhaps the best moment? When the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles took to the stage to deliver a hilarious tribute to the gayest moments in film of 2019, culminating in an ode to Marriage Story Best Supporting Actress Oscar nominee and all-around film icon, Laura Dern. Counting ‘Laura Dern ordering a kale salad’ and ‘Laura Dern dressed slutty in court’ as highlights from her brilliant performance as lawyer Nora Fanshaw in Marriage Story, the cameras cut between the choir and Dern herself, clearly pleasantly surprised by the honour.

They also celebrated Idina Mnezel in Uncut Gems, Jennifer Lopez’s pole dancing in Hustlers and Renee Zellweger’s press tour for Judy in their comical performance.

Dern had won the Robert Altman award earlier in the evening with the rest of Marriage Story’s cast and crew. Opening the night, the actress in fact mentioned that she had been at the very first Independent Spirit Awards in 1985 – back when they were hosted in a restaurant – so the tribute felt especially touching.

The performance was followed by an equally hilarious speech given by Best Male Lead winner Adam Sandler, who won for his performance in Uncut Gems. Taking his speech as an opportunity to make fun of his Oscars snub and of his critics, as well as praising independent film, he explained that he’s taking the diss in his stride just like when he lost his high school yearbook superlative for ‘best looking’ to some ‘feather-headed douchebag.’

‘Tonight, as I look around this room, I realize the Independent Spirit Awards are the best personality awards of Hollywood,’ he said to wild applause. Employing one of his trademark humorous voices, he continued: ‘so let all of those feather-haired douchebag motherf—-ers get their Oscars tomorrow night. Their handsome good looks will fade in time, while our independent personalities will shine on forever [sic].’

Sandler’s speech was not the only criticism levelled at the Oscars. In a brilliantly deadpan monologue from host Aubrey Plaza took aim at the Academy for their lack of diversity: ‘the Film Independent Spirit Awards is so much cooler than the Oscars. It’s the daytime, we’re on the beach, we recognise female directors — all two of them!’ she joked.

In all, the night felt like a welcome respite from the all-too serious and awkward award shows that we are used to. We will have to wait until tonight’s Oscars ceremony to see if there is any response.


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