Last updated: February 24. 2013 7:07PM - 538 Views

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SANTA MONICA, Calif. — The oddball romance “Silver Linings Playbook” was named best picture Saturday at the Spirit Awards honoring independent film, Hollywood’s last pre-game show before today’s Academy Awards.
“Silver Linings Playbook” led with four wins, including best actress for Jennifer Lawrence and director and screenplay for David O. Russell.
Lawrence is the best-actress favorite at tonight’s Oscars for her role as a young widow in a shaky new relationship with a man fresh from a mental hospital.
“The Sessions” earned two acting prizes, for John Hawkes as a man in an iron lung hoping to lose his virginity and Helen Hunt as the sexual surrogate helping him through it.
The award for best supporting actor went to Matthew McConaughey as a flamboyant stripper in “Magic Mike.”
In barely three years, Lawrence has risen from a relative unknown to superstar hero of “The Hunger Games” franchise and potential Oscar winner at only 22. Her quick ascent began with another Spirit Awards nominee, “Winter’s Bone,” which won the top honor at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and earned Lawrence her first Oscar nomination.
Lawrence said she loves independent film for the thrill of freezing with the crew in the middle of the night because they all believe in a story.
“That’s why I do what I do. I love that feeling. I mean, I’d rather be warm,” Lawrence said.
McConaughey, also a best-actor nominee at the Spirit Awards for “Killer Joe,” is a Hollywood A-lister but a relative newcomer to key film awards.
Among other winners:
• Best first film: “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” from director Stephen Chbosky, who adapted the picture from his novel.
• First screenplay: “Safety Not Guaranteed,” Derek Connolly.
• Cinematography: “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” Ben Richardson.
• Documentary: “The Invisible War,” directed by Kirby Dick.
• John Cassavetes Award for best film made for less than $500,000: “Middle of Nowhere,” directed by Ava DuVernay.

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