Birdman’s Winning Streak Continues at Independent Spirit Awards

Birdman Michael Keaton Independent Spirit Awards


Presented just one day before the 87th Annual Academy Awards, the Independent Spirit Awards are designed to highlight the best films produced outside of the conventional studio system. Sometimes this means that the winners were overlooked by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, but sometimes – like this year – they seem to synch up all too perfectly. The winners of this year’s Independent Spirit Awards are (almost) all the expected frontrunners at the Oscars.

Birdman took home prizes for Best Feature, Best Actor (Michael Keaton), and Best Cinematography. But Birdman director Alejandro G. Iñárritu lost to Boyhood director Richard Linklater, who filmed his movie over the course of 12 years. Birdman also lost Best Screenplay to fellow Oscar nominee Nightcrawler, which earned writer/director Dan Gilroy another Independent Spirit Award for Best First Feature. Although critically acclaimed, Nightcrawler is probably a long shot at the Oscars, having been only nominated for its screenplay (whereas it was nominated for five Independent Spirits).


Related: ‘Nightcrawler’ Writer/Director Dan Gilory Does CraveOnline’s B-Movies Podcast (Exclusive Audio)


Other big winners include Julianne Moore’s Best Actress win for Still Alice, J.K. Simmons’ Best Supporting Actor win for Whiplash and Patricia Arquette’s Supporting Actress win for Boyhood. All three actors are considered shoe-ins at the Academy Awards.

The complete list of this year’s Independent Spirit Awards winners are below. Check back later for our live Oscar coverage!


Best Feature: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
Producers: Alejandro G. Iñárritu, John Lesher, Arnon Milchan, James W. Skotchdopole

Best Director: Richard Linklater (IFC Films)

Best Screenplay: Dan Gilroy, Nightcrawler (Open Road Films)

Best First Feature: Nightcrawler (Open Road Films)
Director: Dan Gilroy, Producers: Jennifer Fox, Tony Gilroy, Jake Gyllenhaal, David Lancaster, Michel Litvak

Best First Screenplay: Justin Simien, Dear White People (Roadside Attractions/ Lionsgate)

John Cassavetes Award (For best feature made under $500,000): Land Ho! (Sony Pictures Classics)
Writers/Directors: Aaron Katz, Martha Stephens, Producers: Christina Jennings, Mynette Louie, Sara Murphy

Best Supporting Female: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood (IFC Films)

Best Supporting Male: J.K. Simmons, Whiplash (Sony Pictures Classics)

Best Female Lead: Julianne Moore, Still Alice (Sony Pictures Classics)

Best Male Lead: Michael KeatonBirdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Robert Altman Award: Inherent Vice (Warner Bros.)
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson, Casting Director: Cassandra Kulukundis, Ensemble Cast: Josh Brolin, Hong Chau, Martin Donovan, Jena Malone, Joanna Newsom, Joaquin Phoenix, Sasha Pieterse, Eric Roberts, Maya Rudolph, Martin Short, Serena Scott Thomas, Benicio del Toro, Katherine Waterston, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Michael Kenneth Williams

Best Cinematography: Emmanuel Lubezki, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Best Editing:Tom Cross, Whiplash (Sony Pictures Classics)

Best International Film: Ida (Poland – Music Box Films)
Director: Pawel Pawlikowski

Best Documentary: CITIZENFOUR (RADiUS-TWC / HBO Documentary Films / Participant Media)
Director: Laura Poitras; Producers: Mathilde Bonnefoy, Dirk Wilutzky

Special Distinction AwardFoxcatcher (Sony Pictures Classics)
Director/Producer: Bennett Miller, Producers: Anthony Bregman, Megan Ellison, Jon Kilik, Writers: E. Max Frye, Dan Futterman, Actors: Steve Carell, Mark Ruffalo, Channing Tatum