Spirit Awards: Kumail Nanjiani, Kate McKinnon Parody 'Room,' Mock #OscarsSoWhite in Opening
The stars of 'Silicon Valley' and 'Saturday Night Live' emceed the ceremony, held in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica.
The 31st Film Independent Spirit Awards began with a sketch on Saturday, thanks to co-hosts Kumail Nanjiani and Kate McKinnon.
The stars of Silicon Valley and Saturday Night Live kicked off the Oscar weekend event celebrating independent film. They first co-starred in a skit that parodied Room, in which the two were stuck in a bunker with screeners of this year's nominees. "We still haven't watched Beasts of No Nation though," said Nanjiani before greeting the furniture, exercising and baking a cake. "I made frosting out of dust on the floor!" yelled McKinnon before rolling her "son" in a rug. Thankfully, they exited to host the ceremony — after seven years — by simply entering a security code.
Once onstage, Nanjiani welcomed the guests to the show that honors "the year's best movies you've been meaning to see," hosted by, "as Hollywood thinks of us, a straight woman and her IT guy." Also, he poked fun at this year's Oscar nominations controversy by joking that "the year's [Spirit Award] nominees are as diverse as the cover of a brochure for a liberal arts college, while the Oscar nominees are as diverse as the student body at a liberal arts college."
McKinnon, who noted that the indie film industry is "about definitely losing money," and Nanjiani then poked fun at a few of the nominated titles, saying that Spotlight "made the Catholic Church look so bad, they tried to transfer it to another parish," and that Beasts of No Nation comes from Netflix, "the same company that says, 'If you liked Beasts of No Nation, you may also like Fuller House.'" Plus, McKinnon called Carol "the most compelling movie about someone leaving their gloves behind since The People vs. O.J. Simpson."
The two also called out to a few notable attendees: for example, Sean Penn attended "only because he saw all these stats and figured there were some refugees he can help." And Nanjiani said off-the-cuff that he got lost in Idris Elba's eyes when he looked at him, and that having a black James Bond is as absurd as a female version of Ghostbusters (in which McKinnon stars).
Altogether, the Spirit Awards are not the next day's Oscars, they concluded. "Sure, we might not be the most famous, or the best looking, or the most successful …" said McKinnon, ending there.
The awards were handed out in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica.
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