Silver Linings Playbook won the Best Film prize at the Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday, as well as a Best Actress gong for Jennifer Lawrence and the Best Director award for David O -Russell.
Receiving a publicity boost on the eve of the Oscars, the film stars Bradley Cooper as the recovering bipolar Pat who falls for Lawrence’s mixed-up Tiffany.
The Austrian director Michael Haneke’s Cannes Palme d’Or-winning Amour took the Best Foreign Film prize.
Best Actor went to John Hawkes for playing a man paralysed from the neck down in The Sessions.
Russell stressed the health issues behind Silver Linings Playbook, saying: “I just want to say on behalf of any family that ever faced mood disorder or the stigma of mood disorder, any mental illness: this film is for you.
“I think that when you make a film from the heart, there’s no such thing as genre, there are just real people,” he told reporters.
Lawrence said: “I love doing independent films. The only thing that’s keeping you there is not money, it’s just the belief in the story and passion.”
Haneke said the Spirit award “was given by a younger audience and that’s an important thing for a movie that deals with such a serious theme”.