Undeserving winners by any reasonable standards
Acting awards are supposed to go to those who have demonstrated excellence in acting.
So, a strong sense of irony is bound to emerge if the least qualified end up nabbing such honors.
This was exactly what happened over the weekend at the Hundred Flowers Awards.
A collective response of shock followed the announcement on Saturday night of winners for three of the four acting categories. Not only did Feng Shaofeng in Wolf Totem win best actor, Li Yifeng in Mr Six win best supporting actor and Yang Ying in Mojin: The Lost
Legend win best supporting actress, but they all trumped contenders whose performances were widely hailed as far superior.
Only if you judge a performance purely by the physical appeal of the actor would you come to the conclusions reached in this edition of the Hundred Flowers Awards.
Yes, Feng Shaofeng is better looking than Feng Xiaogang in Mr Six or Huang Bo in Dearest, but any other standard— no matter what school of acting you choose— would not have supported this choice.
To make sense to those readers not familiar with the names, one would have tomake up an equivalent because it does not exist elsewhere in the real world. For instance, Justin Bieber defeated both Johnny Depp and Robert DeNiro in nailing the acting kudos.
The result cannot be justified by the subjective nature of evaluation alone. It turns your world upside down. Like the People’s Choice Awards in the United States, the Hundred Flowers Awards are voted by the general public.
In its early years, it had a one-person one-vote mechanism, which was a pretty accurate gauge of popularity, for both the movies and the performers concerned.
But now, it has a convoluted threestep system, which renowned film critic Magasa deems “terrible”.
“People say the internet has flattened the world, but in terms of film appreciation the gap has become wider, with movie-going concentrated in a select group of youngsters,” he wrote.
Even if one takes into account the pop star appeal rather than acting ability that ordinary people would favor, the results hardly make sense.
For example, Huang Bo has a formidable fan base, possibly larger than that of Feng Shaofeng or Li Yifeng, but the latter have more rabid fans who are willing to go out of their way for their idols.
While most commentators view the result as detrimental to this award, which is on a long downward slide in credibility anyway, fans see it as encouragement.
“No film award can be completely fair,” wrote Fei Luojun, a film critic.
“This award has sent a signal that China’s film industry is entering a fan-controlled age of fanaticism. But will it be good for the industry?”
Feng Shaofeng (top), Li Yifeng (above right) and Yang Ying win the Hundred Flowers Awards’ best actor, best supporting actor and actress.