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“Black Swan,” Natalie Portman and James Franco Win Big

By Paul Sheehan The 26th annual edition of the Independent Spirit Awards were held Saturday in a tent on the wind-swept Santa Monica beach. “Black Swan” was the big winner with four awards while “Winter’s Bone” took two.
Four of the contenders for Best Film, including the winner “Black Swan,” are in contention for the same prize at Sunday’s Oscars.
Oscar frontrunner “The King’s Speech” was eligible only in the category of Best Foreign Film which it won.
All five of the Oscar nominees for Best Actress were in contention here with tomorrow’s frontrunner Natalie Portman winning for “Black Swan.”

James Franco (“127 Hours”), the lone Oscar candidate among the Best Actor nominees, prevailed.
“Winter’s Bone” supporting players John Hawkes and Dale Dickey won those awards. Hawke is in the running at the Oscars as is fellow Spirits nominee Mark Ruffalo (“The Kids Are All Right”).

Darren Aronofsky, the only Oscar nominee in this race, won Best Director for “Black Swan.”
The Screenplay award went to “Kids Are All Right” director Lisa Choldenko and her co-writer Stuart Blumberg. The pair vie at the Oscars in the Original Screenplay race while fellow Spirit nominees Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini (“Winter’s Bone”) are up for Best Adapted Screenplay tomorrow night.

“Community” star Joel McHale hosted the kudos for the first time. Other winners at the free-wheeling ceremony included “Exit Through the Gift Shop” which was named Best Documentary over, among others, fellow Oscar nominee “Restrepo.” And Oscar nominee Matthew Libatique won here for lensing “Black Swan.”

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