Smells Like Spleen Spirit

Last week, the nominating committee for the Independent Feature Project/West's Spirit Awards selected five features as best of the year—Hedwig and the Angry Inch, L.I.E., Memento, Things Behind the Sun and Waking Life. There's just one problem: David Lynch's Mulholland Drive was shut out of every key category, including Best Feature and Best Actress, which should belong to the woman who (as numerous critics' polls underscored) gave the performance of the year: Naomi Watts. (The committee did nominate the film's Peter Deming for best cinematography.) It's hard to understand what the committee, which includes Sundance Film Festival co-director Geoff Gilmore and New York Times critic Elvis Mitchell, was thinking. (In the interest of full disclosure, we've all done pro bono time on IFP committees.) All we know is that when the Golden Globes—which nominated Mulholland Drive for four awards, including Best Picture and Best Director—makes smarter choices than the IFP, it's time for the Spirit Awards to throw in the towel.


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