Glenn Close, ‘Beale Street,’ win indie film honors ahead of Oscars

February 24, 2019

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Actress Glenn Close and racial injustice movie “If Beale Street Could Talk” were the big winners on Saturday at the Independent Spirit Awards, a day ahead of the Oscars ceremony.

Mexican family drama “Roma,” which is seen as a strong contender for best picture at the Academy Awards on Sunday, won the Spirit award for best international film.

The Spirit Awards are the annual honors given to Hollywood’s low-budget movies made for under $20 million.

Close, 71, won the best actress award for playing a submissive spouse who finally finds her voice in “The Wife.” She has also emerged as the favorite to win the Oscar on Sunday for her role in the movie.

“It’s a lovely thing to do before the Oscars,” Close said on the red carpet on a sunny day in the beach city of Santa Monica.I

“If Beale Street Could Talk” — based on late writer James Baldwin’s tender 1974 novel about a young New York couple whose lives are wrecked when the man is imprisoned for a rape he did not commit — came away as the biggest winner.

The film took the Spirit Award for best feature film, best supporting actress for Regina King, and best director for Barry Jenkins, whose last film, “Moonlight,” won the best picture Oscar two years ago.

Winners often go onto success at the Academy Awards the following day. King’s performance as a mother seeking justice for her son-in-law is seen as a strong contender in the supporting actress Oscar category, although “If Beale Street Could Talk” failed to get a best picture Oscar nomination.

On Saturday, Richard E. Grant was named best supporting actor for his role in literary drama “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”, boosting his profile for the Oscars where he is also nominated.

Ethan Hawke was named best actor for religious drama “First Reformed.”

(Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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