With its informal setting and freewheeling vibe, the Spirit Awards is known for presenters who wing it and winners who ruffle feathers.
This year, maybe literally.
Comedian and actor Patton Oswalt, the anointed host of this year's Film Independent extravaganza, has an unorthodox idea for livening up the ceremony: Put some live birds in the mix.
On Wednesday, the "Ratatouille" and "Young Adult" star announced that he intends to replace the usual avian-themed trophies with a live bird for each award winner at the March 1 event, a daytime luncheon in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica. (The awards will be broadcast on IFC that evening.)
Does that mean, for example, that "Fruitvale Station's" Michael B. Jordan or "Nebraska's" Bruce Dern — two nominees for the lead-actor award — could be sent home with a handsomely plumed parakeet instead of a winged statuette? Might "Blue Jasmine" star Cate Blanchett or "Short Term 12" leading lady Brie Larson become the new owner of a long-crested cockatiel?
In addition to raising numerous logistical questions — storage, transport and cleanup, among others — Oswalt's proposed stunt could, um, cause a flap with animal-welfare groups such as PETA and the American Humane Assn.
Then again, in the historically attention-grabbing way of the awards, that might well be part of the plan. Oswalt is scheduled to speak to reporters in a conference call Friday morning but has said little so far. You might even say he's being cagey.