Baftas, Grammys, Oscars - all these awards are meaningless. Unless, of course, you win one

As a nominee for Beard of the Year in 2010, I've had my fair share of award show disappointments

Share
Related Topics

A friend of mine who's in the movies, and who had gone to the Baftas more in hope than expectation, texted me in the early hours of the morning yesterday. He was in rueful mood about the nature of awards ceremonies. "The truth is that it's an ego boost today," he wrote, "and everyone forgets a week later". Yes, that's right, he hadn't had a very successful evening. His acceptance speech remained neatly folded in his lapel pocket, and in these circumstances, it's easy  - and more becoming - to get all philosophical.

His reaction was a variation on the stoic approach I've adopted at various times during my career when I've come away disappointed from such events. Awards? Pah! They don't mean anything...until, of course, you win one, when they become tangible symbols of the esteem in which you are held by your peers.

The Baftas are now second only to the Oscars in terms of importance to the film industry, and the attendance by so many members of Hollywood's elite at this year's event confirms its relatively new-found eminence in the entertainment world. It never used to be like this. Little more than a decade ago, the Baftas didn't even register on the Hollywood seismograph, but now - moved to a point in the calendar close to The Oscars, but, significantly, before the Academy has stopped voting - they create serious reverberations, and are seen as reliable pointers to the big one.

So prepare for more croaky-voiced emotion from Anne Hathaway, more urbane observations from Daniel Day-Lewis, and another exhibition of ineffable cool from Ben Affleck. What's more, the growing influence of the Baftas is a further indication of London's rising stock as a global centre for the arts, culture, and entertainment. The inherent Britishness of the Baftas - once seen as parochial and negative - is now regarded as one of its appeals.

So much so that Stephen Fry, whose persona is as British as a pot of Fortnum & Mason jam, is the man chosen to host the event. At times, as he went on a linguistic foray deep into the metaphorical undergrowth full of simile and wordplay, he seemed to forget that he wasn't in fact presenting an edition of QI, or that he had been engaged to do an impression of Jeeves and Wooster.

Neverthless, his script was extremely clever - including a good joke about the film Zero Dark Thirty: "I didn't go to see it, because I'd missed the previous 29 in the Zero Dark franchise" - and his delivery insouciant. The unspoken message was clear: Hollywood may do glamour, but we do class.

The other impression to take away from the evening was that beards are back. And how! Clooney, Affleck, Fry, Mendes, Tarantino, Jackman - they were all sporting various types of facial hair arrangement. So what are we to make of all this? As a nominee for Beard of the Year in 2010, I can only support this tonsorial development. As it happens, I was beaten to the honour that year by Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams. But you know what, it didn't bother me at all. Awards never meant anything to me...

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Employment Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace

Gabriel Sassoon
The economy expanded by 0.8 per cent in the second quarter of 2014  

Government hails latest GDP figures, but there is still room for scepticism over this 'glorious recovery'

Ben Chu
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little