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Free Spirits

Peaceniks prevailed at this year’s pre-Oscar indie film awards

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Peace was the word at March 22’s IFP Independent Spirit Awards, the annual beachfront fete in Santa Monica honoring indie films (and co-sponsored by EW). Free from the stress of Oscar austerity, Best Female Lead Julianne Moore played modern hippie in an orange blouse and jeans. (Her Far From Heaven nabbed five trophies, including Best Feature, in contrast to its shutout the following night.) Documentary winner Michael Moore (Bowling for Columbine) gave a preview of his controversial Oscar speech to a strikingly more receptive and relaxed audience, many of them sporting blue-and-green peace pins. ”I agree with the toned-down approach,” said Thora Birch (Ghost World) of the festivities inside a sweltering tent. ”At the same time, I don’t think we should do things halfway.” Not to worry: The rabble-rousing was on full display.