Friday, 20 May 2011

Why the National Movie Awards 2011 made me weep...

I've made it no secret, as my fellow tweeters will confirm, that I disliked last nights L'Oreal sponsored National Movie Awards 2011 with a passion. And just to clarify, I'm not one of those pretentious filmmakers who exclusively indulges in indie cinema, but am the first to admit my love for many a mainstream film. I begrudgingly found myself sitting through the 2 hour 'ceremony' out of sheer fascination more than anything and below are just a few thoughts I simply had to get off my chest.

I distinctly recall last years event when I was more than a little surprised to see Tom Cruise in attendance. There he was, happily mingling amongst the crowd and other celebs such as Alan Carr (no disrespect to the bloke). Having these two names in the mix made me suspicious how a somewhat popular UK based comedian would be sharing the stage with the biggest film star on the planet at an awards show lacking prestige. I knew something wasn't right, but couldn't put my finger on why the most powerful actor in the world had shown up. Then it hit me. Young Tom was promoting Knight and Day around the same time. Coincidence? Even more oddly was that every few seconds the camera would cut to a shot of him sitting there alongside Katy Holmes clapping, smiling and even breaking into a dose of controlled laughter every so often. But finally, when he was announced as the winner of the Screen Icon Award, it all made sense. The word publicity comes to mind and this year was no exception. 

Laughably, the categories for the NMAs alter each year. New ones circulate on a whim; others are axed all together; possibly in some vane attempt to appear 'fresh' and 'hip' and as a worthy alternative to the Oscars (I'm sure the committee are shitting themselves).

Even more dubious were the nominees themselves. This years Performance of the Year was strongly contended by, ahem, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliffe; probably a collective of the most wooden and awkward performances since Button Moon. To then couple said stars with such names as (the legendary) Jeff Bridges, Colin Firth and Natalie Portman in the same category is surely a sin.

To add insult to injury, host Christine Bleakley and a majority of the presenters were just terrible. A highlight (depending how you look at it) was the rather unsettled Lewis Hamilton who, as a result of nerves or auto cue error, proclaimed how 'gifted' rather than 'grateful' he was to be presenting an award. Maybe his embarrassment was really down to the fact he'd sold-out to present an award at such a shambolic event?

Affirming Johnny Depp as 'the greatest talent of his generation', to me, was a little extravagant. Nonetheless, Depp is a great actor and worthy of an award equating to the title of screen icon, yet I can't help feel there were more worthy winners.

Irrelevant cuts to current pop acts performing was unnecessary, especially as the purpose of their appearance was to shamelessly plug a new single or movie (yes, I'm talking about you, JLS), which just made it into a cheap entertainment show rather than focusing on the medium at hand.

Overall an abomination to film professionals and lovers everywhere. I felt patronised all the way through. Ridiculous nominations, proceeded by 'nobody' presenters and, superseded by what sounded like hoards of teenage girls content to scream at anything and everything (including James Corden), made it feel as immature as MTV's version.

Rant over.