The Academy has yet to give out their awards, but Moonlight is already a big winner this weekend, scoring the most Spirit Awards for a movie in the last decade.
The coming-of-age film swept Saturday’s Film Independent Spirit Awards — a ceremony that takes place a day before the Oscars in Santa Monica, Calif. — taking home trophies for best feature, director, screenplay, cinematography and editing as well as the Robert Altman award, which is presented to the cast, director and casting director. Other big winners included The Witch for best first feature and first screenplay, best actor for Manchester by the Sea‘s Casey Affleck and best actress for Elle‘s Isabelle Huppert.
At the laid-back award show, artists spoke to the need for greater representation in film and political resistance, despite the fact that hosts John Mulaney and Nick Kroll joked that those messages wouldn’t be widely received.
“(The show airs) on IFC. In terms of impact, you can say it directly into camera, or you can whisper it in the bathroom,” said Mulaney.
Nevertheless, Moonlight director Barry Jenkins said backstage that his movie about a black man struggling to navigate his sexuality exists as this “beacon of inclusivity.” Going forward, he said, “we gotta tell more stories that speak truth to power.”
Affleck, who called President Trump’s administration “abhorrent” during his acceptance speech for Manchester, told reporters about his concern for the new education secretary’s agenda and “the torrent of terrifying news that comes out of Washington every day.” He said, “I know this feels preachy and boring, but I’m just lending my little voice to the chorus.”
The show had lighter notes, too. Mulaney and Kroll set the tone early in a joke-filled opening monologue where they talked about how somber the nominated films were. “These movies were so…