indie spirits 2020

The Spirit Awards Sang Laura Dern’s Praises with Choir Tribute

The Independent Spirit Awards briefly transformed into the Church of Laura Dern on Saturday night, rightfully awarding the criminally underrated actress with a song tribute. The tribute (performed by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, no less) started out as a celebration of LGBTQ representation in film. “Idina Menzel in Uncut Gems, J. Lo pole-dancing to Fiona Apple, FKA Twigs talking about snakes,” the choir chanted, before pivoting to a discussion of one Miss Laura Dern’s contributions to queer cinema. “Laura Dern kicking her feet on the couch, Laura Dern ordering a kale salad, Laura Dern dressed slutty in court,” they sang, referring to Marriage Story, before eventually summarizing, “Just all of Laura Dern.”

Singer Alex Newell led the chorus as Dern simply looked on and laughed, surveying her congregation. The moment was a blissful respite from what, by all accounts, has been an exhausting awards season. Dern had earlier in the night won the Robert Altman award alongside the rest of the cast and crew of Marriage Story, and has in total been nominated for four Spirit awards. The actress opened the night by mentioning she had been at the very first Independent Spirit Awards in 1985, back when they were hosted in a restaurant — in short, before they were cool — so this tribute feels not only well deserved, but long overdue.

The Spirit Awards Sang Laura Dern’s Praises