Spirit Award winner Adam Sandler makes light of Oscar snub

He was recognised for his leading role in the breathless crime drama Uncut Gems.

Adam Sandler made light of his Oscars snub as he won best actor at the 35th Film Independent Spirit Awards.

Sandler earned widespread acclaim for his leading role in frenetic crime drama Uncut Gems, with many critics calling it the best performance of his career.

However, the praise did not translate into an Oscar nomination and both he and the film were snubbed by the Academy.

2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards – Press Room
Uncut Gems star Adam Sandler won the best actor prize at the 35th Film Independent Spirit Awards (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Sandler, who plays the quick-talking New York City jeweller and gambling addict Howard Ratner in Uncut Gems, was recognised at the Spirit Awards, where he was named best male lead.

Accepting the prize at the awards – held in a tent on the Santa Monica beachfront – Sadler joked about his Oscars omission.

In a comedic voice, he said: “I stand before you trembling with glee as I receive your so-called best actor trophy, independently speaking, of course.”

Sandler, reading from a sheet of paper, added: “You know, a few weeks back when I was, quote unquote, ‘snubbed’ by the Academy, it reminded me of when I attended high school and was overlooked for the coveted yearbook superlative category ‘best looking’.”

The 53-year-old star of films including Happy Gilmore, The Waterboy and Big Daddy explained he was voted “best personality” in school, adding: “Tonight, as I look around this room, I realise the Independent Spirit Awards are the best personality awards of Hollywood.”

And of the Oscar nominees, Sandler said: “Their handsome, good looks will fade in time. Our independent personalities will shine on forever!”

Sandler, who began his career on Saturday Night Live, thanked his wife and children for encouraging him to take the role in Uncut Gems.

He also paid tribute to Uncut Gems directors Benny and Josh Safdie, jokingly comparing them to “homeless rabbis”.

Uncut Gems won the siblings the Spirit Award for best director while the film also took home the best editing prize.

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