'Precious,' 'Last Station' seek indie film honors

Fri Mar 5, 2010 6:21pm EST
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LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oscar favorites Jeff Bridges and Mo'Nique will likely add trophies to their collections at the Spirit Awards on Friday, their final dress rehearsal before the Academy Awards two days later.

The 25th annual Spirit Awards, the independent film world's version of the Oscars, kick off at 8 p.m. PST (2300 EST) in a downtown Los Angeles theater, ditching the traditional location under a beachfront marquee.

Some observers have worried the famously relaxed and boozy ceremony may lose some of its edge in its new setting but organizers have been at pains to say the cocktails will flow and speeches remain unrestricted.

British comedian Eddie Izzard will host the awards, televised live and uncensored on cable channel IFC.

The harrowing drama "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire," in which Mo'Nique plays an abusive mother, picked up five Spirit Award nominations, tying at the front of the pack with "The Last Station."

They will compete for best picture with "(500) Days of Summer," "Amreeka" and "Sin Nombre."

Bridges was nominated for his role as a drunkard country singer in "Crazy Heart," which picked up nods in two other categories.

Both Mo'Nique and Bridges have dominated awards season in their respective categories, already winning prizes at the Golden Globes, Critics Choice and Screen Actors Guild awards.

Each year, a handful of Spirit winners usually go on to earn Oscars thanks in part to the success of low-budget films.   Continued...