(AFP) – Feb 26, 2011
SANTA MONICA, California — Ballet thriller "Black Swan" was named best film at the Spirit independent movie awards Saturday, while British drama "The King's Speech" got another boost on the eve of the Oscars.
"Black Swan," about a ballet dancer whose drive for perfection drives her to the edge of madness, also earned the best director prize for Darren Aronofksy and best actress for Natalie Portman, as well as best cinematography.
James Franco, who will co-host Sunday's Academy Awards, won best actor at the Spirits for his role in "127 Hours," about a stricken hiker forced to amputate his own arm.
"The King's Speech," nominated for 12 categories in Sunday's Academy Awards, was named best foreign film. It was not eligible for the main best film category, which is reserved for independent US films.
Best supporting actor and actress, John Hawkes and Dale Dickey, were both rewarded for their performances in the same film, "Winter's Bone," about a teenager hunting her drug dealing father.
Elusive British graffiti artist Banksy's "Exit Through the Gift Shop" won best documentary, earning a standing ovation at the Spirit awards and fueling speculation that the film could win best documentary Oscar on Sunday.
A cast member accepted the award on behalf of Banksy, whose real identity is not publicly known. Pictures by the artist have cropped up about Los Angeles in the run-up to the Oscars, the climax of Hollywood's annual awards season.
"The King's Speech" is frontrunner for best film Oscar on Sunday and has nods in 11 other categories, including best actor, which was widely expected to go to Colin Firth for his performance as stammering King George VI.
Facebook movie "The Social Network," about how Mark Zuckerberg created the world-linking website from a controversial start while a Harvard student, could yet edge the royal flick from the top spot.
"Black Swan" is among eight other movies in the running for best film Oscar, while Portman is frontunner for best actress on Sunday.
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