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The film, like special prize winner Inherent Vice, wasn’t considered in the competitive categories because its budget was judged to be too large for the indie competition.
Inherent Vice director Paul Thomas Anderson earlier accepted the Robert Altman award for that film and called out Spirit Awards sponsor American Airlines for “losing his luggage.”
When Miller took the stage, he said Anderson asked him to read something and that his fellow director felt bad about what he said.
“I said some bad things. I feel bad. I was trying to exhibit my independent spirit, and I thought if I wore a flannel shirt and said a bad word, you would love me more,” Miller said, reading from a piece of paper, on which it seemed as if Anderson had written some remarks. “My apologies to American Airlines. It was actually United.” (Miller later indicated that this moment was a joke, people at the ceremony say.)
Miller then expressed his gratitude for his award.
“I feel very fortunate to get to make the kinds of films I like to make and work with the kind of people I get to work with,” Miller said. “And I’m genuinely and deeply grateful for the recognition and to all who gave themselves to this particular film.”
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