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Rourke's Indie Spirit win an Oscar prelude?

Saturday night at the "Independent Spirit" Awards in Santa Monica honoring the best in off-Hollywood filmmaking, Mickey Rourke collected the lead actor trophy for his battered Randy the Ram in "The Wrestler," and Melissa Leo lead actress honors for her role as the wits' end single mom who'll do anything to feed her sons in ""Frozen River."

Rourke's Indie Spirit win an Oscar prelude?

 Actor Mickey Rourke accepts the award for best male lead for his role in "The Wrestler" at the 2009 Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, Calif., on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)<br />
Actor Mickey Rourke accepts the award for best male lead for his role in "The Wrestler" at the 2009 Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica, Calif., on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello) Chris Pizzello

Saturday night at the "Independent Spirit" Awards in Santa Monica honoring the best in off-Hollywood filmmaking, Mickey Rourke collected the lead actor trophy for his battered Randy the Ram in "The Wrestler," and Melissa Leo lead actress honors for her role as the wits' end single mom who'll do anything to feed her sons in ""Frozen River."

That both are also Oscar-nominated says someting about the convergence of indie- and studio-financed films at awards time.

Penelope Cruz, Oscar-nominated supportng actress, took the "Spirit" prize as the tempestuous ex-wife of "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" and James Franco was cited for his role as Harvey Milk's longtime partner in "Milk."

"The Wrestler" won best pic and Tom McCarthy, who made the quietly moving character study "The Visitor," won best director honors.

It will be fascinating to see if the nominated Rourke, Leo and Cruz repeat tonight at the Oscars.

Carrie Rickey Film Critic
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Carrie Rickey Film Critic
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