On Sunday May 7th, MTV aired their usual annual movie awards with a couple of significant twists!
Acting categories became genderless
Emma Watson praised this decision as she accepted the award of the night as Best Actor in a movie for Beauty and the Beast: “Acting is about the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and that doesn’t need to be separated into two different categories.”
In terms of smaller award shows, it’s an interesting move to combine acting categories to have men and women directly competing. It requires us to put every major performance of the year on the same level and recognize one as the best of the best. Whether or not you agree with this choice, it couldn’t have been more fitting for Emma Watson, feminist champion, to be the recipient of the first ever genderless acting win. However I do hope this trend stays out of the bigger awards, i.e Oscars, Tonys, Emmys. Those are rare instances where the notoriety and prestige is not skewed towards men or women, and keeping them separate ensures that the maximum amount of women are given a shot at an Oscar. Putting all performances in one category with the goal of inclusion could potentially backfire, leading to a dramatic decrease of female nominations.
No longer just the MTV Movie Awards, the award show has now been expanded to recognize television, as well!
For years I’ve been wanting the MTV Movie awards to finally accept the dominance and brilliance of modern television, as considering it a secondary medium is almost laughably ridiculous. Television is a force to be reckoned with that even seasoned movie stars are now lining up for (True Detective, Fargo, and Big Little Lies are just a couple examples). So it’s only right that the “small screen” has its day!
In the most adorable moment of the night, Millie Bobby Brown was the first recipient of Best Actor in a Show for her portrayal of Eleven in Stranger Things. Millie tried her best to hold it together, but couldn’t help breaking down as she thanked Netflix, her family, and the ST cast and crew. Considering she beat out the likes of Emilia Clarke, Mandy Moore, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, it was a pretty impressive win. I’m not entirely convinced the role of Eleven demanded as much as, for example, Gina Rodriguez’s portrayal of Jane on Jane the Virgin. But considering that was unquestionably the best child performance of the year, I’m happy for the young actress and have no doubt we’ll see more extraordinary things from her.
One of the most well-deserved win was This Is Us for Best Tearjerker. The ultimate “tearjerker” scene in question was Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) literally supporting his young adopted son Randall (Lonnie Chavis) on his back at a karate class. It was a deeply moving expression of fatherly devotion that proved blood doesn’t make a family, love does.
To be honest, This Is Us should have also won Show of the Year (which went to Stranger Things). It is a beautifully crafted and masterfully acted show that absolutely anyone can enjoy. Sure it’s no death-defying Game of Thrones or heavily Tweeted Pretty Little Liars or mysterious and supernatural Stranger Things, but it does have a quality all its own: it’s honest. The relationships feel truthful. The imperfect characters are allowed to be flawed and messy, and that doesn’t change how much we love them. The writers are brave enough to explore subject matter that many others are too scared to approach for fear of alienating viewers. Kate’s struggle with obesity and Randall’s journey to find balance between his biological and adopted families are just two of the intricate stories that are told.
This entire award show had a few great things going on. For one thing, it only ran for about 2 hours, thus avoiding the hour of crappy filler that normally pads out other award shows (I’m lookin at you, Oscars). They also had some real wildcard categories including Best Fight Against the System (which Hidden Figures VERY rightfully won), Trending, Best Kiss, Best American Story, and Best Musical Moment. Focusing more on the unusual awards than too many hammy skits made for a fun event!
Favorite red carpet photos looks of the evening: