Un­de­serv­ing win­ners by any rea­son­able stan­dards

China Daily (USA) - - LIFE - By RAYMOND ZHOU

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.

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