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'Juno' tops indie Spirit Awards

The Baltimore Sun

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- Juno, a comedy about a pregnant teen who is very much an independent spirit, was named best feature at yesterday's Spirit Awards, which honor the best of Hollywood's independent fare.

In an awards ceremony dominated by no single film, Juno also garnered best female lead for star Ellen Page and best first screenplay for writer Diablo Cody. Both women are up for Oscars tonight.

"All of this is just the added crazy cherry on top of the sundae," Page, 21, said backstage.

The best director Spirit went to Julian Schnabel for The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Tamara Jenkins won best screenplay for The Savages, the story of sparring adult siblings caring for their elderly father. Philip Seymour Hoffman, playing one of the siblings, won for best male lead.

Supporting female and male Spirits were given to Cate Blanchett, one of four actors cast as Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes' I'm Not There, and Chiwetel Ejiofor, for Talk To Me, a bio-film based on the life of former Washington deejay Petey Greene.

The best documentary Spirit went to Dan Klores' Crazy Love, which had its Baltimore debut at the Maryland Film Festival in May.

The Spirits, which view themselves as Oscar's feistier, less risk-averse cousin, were awarded yesterday afternoon under a giant tent pitched atop a beachside parking lot in Santa Monica. Any film with a budget of less than $20 million was eligible.

Picking 2007's dis-favorites proved a lot easier for the folks at the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation, as the Lindsay Lohan star vehicle, I Know Who Killed Me, earned a record eight Razzies, including worst picture.

The film, which stars Lohan as identical twins, one pure, one trampy, earned the actress three Razzies. Besides shaming her way to a win for worst screen couple, she garnered two Razzies in a tie for worst actress - one for each twin.

In a staggering testimony to the movie's overall awfulness, I Know Who Killed Me also "won" for worst screenplay, worst director (Chris Siverston) and worst excuse for a horror movie.

In another staggering testimony to something, Eddie Murphy walked away with three acting Razzies. For playing a handful of characters - some male, some female - in Norbit, Murphy was dis-honored with Razzies for worst actor, worst supporting actress and worst supporting actor.

The Razzies, which have been singling out Hollywood's worst films since 1980, were handed out yesterday at Santa Monica's Magicopolis theater. The only other film to win an award at the ceremony was Daddy Day Camp for worst prequel or sequel.

chris.kaltenbach@baltsun.com

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