Even if it doesn't win an Oscar tomorrow night, The Lighthouse won't be leaving awards season empty-handed. Director Robert Eggers' black-and-white horror film about two lighthouse keepers (Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson) slowly losing their minds in 19th-century New England bagged two major victories at the 2020 Independent Spirit Awards earlier this evening.
Eggers' first follow-up to 2015's The Witch, the movie came away from the ceremony with a pair of statues for Best Supporting Male (Dafoe) and Best Cinematography (Jarin Blaschke). The project's cinematography—which is also up for an Academy Award—utilized a monochromatic color palette, as well as an old-school 1.19:1 aspect ratio.
"The conditions were quite hard," Blaschke said in his acceptance speech. "There's freezing sleet in your face all the time, equipment was breaking down, but it was much more comfortable than this ... I'd just like to thank my Nova Scotia crew, who were veterans and elevated everything we tried to do."
Unfortunately, The Lighthouse did not win any of the other Spirit categories in which it was nominated: Best Director (Eggers, who co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Max), Best Editing (Louise Ford), or Best Male Lead (Pattinson).
Another genre victor at the Spirit Awards was the Spike Lee-produced time-travel adventure See You Yesterday. The movie—which hit the streaming platform last May—scored the prize for Best First Screenplay (Fredrica Bailey and Stefon Bristol), beating out Amazon's The Vast of Night.
Bristol also directed the feature, which follows two friends, C.J. Walker (Eden Duncan-Smith) and Sebastian Thomas (Danté Crichlow), who go back in time to stop C.J.'s brother from being shot by the police. As such, the film explores topical themes of racial profiling and police brutality against African-Americans through the lens of science fiction.
See You Yesterday was also up for Best First Feature, but lost to Olivia Wilde's Booksmart.