The 2011 MTV Movie Awards aired last night (Sunday, June 5), and something interesting happened: a lot of young women won awards.
I didn’t watch the ceremony. I’m too old for MTV, and didn’t even realize the show had happened until I came across a mean-spirited article, published last year, unironically lamenting “Why Twilight Ruined the MTV Movie Awards
.” Because no other movie with a lousy script ever won an MTV Movie Award? No one would argue that MTV awards are based on high art and excellent filmmaking, but, like most major awards, they’re worth looking at for their cultural significance. And, for some reason, this year’s winners give me something to feel good about.
Here are a selection of the winners (you can see the full list here).
Best Comedic Performance: Emma Stone for Easy A
Best Female Performance: Kristen Stewart for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Best Scared-As-S**t Performance: Ellen Page for Inception
Best Line from a Movie: Alexys Nycole Sanchez for Grown Ups
MTV Generation Award: Reese Witherspoon
Best Breakout Star: Chloë Grace Moretz for Kick-Ass
Biggest Badass Star: Chloë Grace Moretz for Kick-Ass
Only one of the above categories is gender specific, and though we could endlessly debate The Twilight Problem (Stephanie did just that in her review of New Moon
), it’s worth noting that Stewart won the Best Female Performance award for a film geared toward a female audience
. If you have nothing at all positive to say about The Twilight Saga, you still have to admit that this film series is wildly popular with and unabashedly made for young (and some not so young) women. This shouldn’t be remarkable, but it is.
Young women are highlighted in these awards for being funny, for being iconic, for breaking out, and for being badass. What other awards are recognizing women–particularly young women–in this way?
I’ll admit that many of the films these actresses won for (the ones I’ve seen, at least) are problematic. I’m not really celebrating that Easy A
(which I found virtually unwatchable) won an award, but I am celebrating that a film with a female lead is being recognized as containing a great comedic performance. There was a lot of controversy surrounding Kick-Ass
and the way the character Hit Girl was portrayed, but I am thrilled that a teenage girl (who was 12 when she made the film) is being recognized and rewarded as “badass.”
Even if MTV continues to make us shudder with their programming, they are highlighting young women in film. Hollywood and other awards shows: take notice!