Monday, April 20, 2015

Canadian Screen Awards 2014

Overall, I liked the Canadian Screen Awards 2015 more than 2014.  The 2014 show spent too much time on the red carpet and not enough on the actual awards, resulting in a rushed show with fewer awards.  I’m impressed how many awards were added to the presentation and how relaxed the 2015 show was.  I also thought Andrea Martin was a more comfortable host than Martin Short.  Martin Short was a little combative in his humor.  Andrea Martin went a more self-deprecating route.  

Martin Short and Mugwump
Martin Short with Mugwump from Naked Lunch on the red carpet.
A number of small revelations stood out.  Far more original Canadian reality shows were up the previous year; this year it was mainly Canadian versions of American shows.  Last year, Tatiana Maslany won for the first time for Orphan Black, which was quite emotional; this year it was expected.  I realized that the American market was concerned about the title to the Daniel Radcliffe film The F-Word, which was renamed What If?  That really changes one’s focus throughout the film.  They also changed the venue.  This year’s Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts was particularly snazzy (I love the glass and opera style tiers); last year it was held at Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.    

Sony Centre for the Performing Arts
Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.  Image not from telecast.
I’m not going to go into the awards as this is old news and they can be looked up online.  

Jay Baruchel
Jay Baruchel honors David Cronenberg.
However, one part of the 2014 show was my favorite Canadian Screen Awards Moment of all: the Lifetime Achievement Award for David Cronenberg.  It was definitely David Cronenberg night.  Both Jay Baruchel and Viggo Mortensen spoke in honor of him.   Jay Baruchel gave nervous remarks about how grateful he was for the chance to work with David, which led into a fabulous montage, which is something you don’t see in a Lifetime Achievement montage at the Oscars.  Then Viggo Mortensen gave a more stern speech that lamented the under-recognition of David Cronenberg.  He pointed out that Cronenberg was never nominated for an Oscar.  He compared Cronenberg to Swedish film-maker Carl Dreyer, both of whom, according to Mortensen, were groundbreaking and original voices in cinema who created distinctive bodies of work.

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen honors David Cronenberg.
David Cronenberg was one of the funniest and well-spoken of any Lifetime Achievement Award recipient that I’ve seen.  He told a joke:

Patient: Doctor, I can’t pee.
Doctor: Well, how old are you?
Patient: I’m 93.


Doctor: Well, you’ve peed enough.  

David Cronenberg
David Cronenberg.
Cronenberg went on to suggest that the industry is telling him that he’s peed enough.  Then he went onto the possibility of an afterlife.  He suggested that he could go for the After-Lifetime Achievement Award.  That’s the first I’ve ever heard such a concept from such an honoree.  He decided to embrace delusion after expressing doubt in the afterlife, which will allow him to believe in the afterlife and be a happy honoree.  His speech was simultaneously one of the funniest and cleverest, as well as one of the darkest I’ve ever heard.   

Besides Cronenberg, the night was mostly forgettable, but also confirms that The Canadian Screen Awards are on the right track.  

David Cronenberg
David Cronenberg hold up his award in appreciation of his wife.

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