2013 MTV Movie Awards Review: Daniel Day-Lewis and Emma Watson as Emblems of a Divide

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When those who write about movies have to watch the MTV Movie Awards for review, it's already common knowledge to expect a multi-ring circus more than anything serious. This year, the shocks we're used to seeing there annually seemed to be things we've seen so often (as in pants being pulled down) that nobody batted an eye. Any real shocks were in the things not expected, namely the demeanor of Trailblazer Award winner Emma Watson, plus Daniel Day-Lewis being nominated.

While some of the MTV teen crowd likely loved "Lincoln", it's a miracle Daniel Day-Lewis was even nominated for Best Actor when all categories typically skew younger. His lack of an appearance was perhaps the acknowledgement that the serious-minded movie award shows are now over. And it was a given that Bradley Cooper would win based on his age being right in the demographic MTV covets, plus taking on bipolarity in "Silver Linings Playbook."

Day-Lewis being there in nominated spirit, though, showed the strange dichotomy in real movie award shows and the MTV Movie Awards. It seems there's always attempts to bring in a little class to the MTV show now and again, even if those hopes are usually dashed when those of the populist or controversial persuasion usually win. In that regard, it might give the MTV Movie Awards a bit of an identity crisis in why it bothers to exist when those far above who deserve to win don't.

That was compounded more when Emma Watson won the Trailblazer Award and managed to give the most eloquent and poised speech given there in years. In fact, it seemed so out of the ordinary, some in the audience were visibly taken aback at Watson's sincerity. For once, MTV may finally have a trailblazer who could make a real difference in how a celebrity should act up on a stage.

Of course, Emma Watson's reactions in the audience to everything else were just as priceless. One can only imagine how Daniel Day-Lewis would have reacted in his seat had he decided to show up. Then again, his sense of the absurdly funny sometimes manifests as sharply as Abraham Lincoln's sense of humor apparently did.

"Lincoln", fortunately, didn't have to face the embarrassment of being nominated next to "Ted" for Movie of the Year. In a strange twist of events to the Oscars, Ben Affleck was nominated at MTV for Best Male Performance in "Argo", yet the movie itself wasn't nominated. Despite Affleck being only 40, it's clear anyone over that age won't win an acting award through the MTV demo, if perhaps having their movie nixed after winning a Best Picture Oscar.

It all makes you wonder whether the next generation will take populist entertainment to the forefront and force the Oscars to go the same route down the line. "Marvel's The Avengers" may have had something for everyone, but films with something deeper to say are slowly falling off the minds of those who merely seek out what's popular.

Let's see Daniel Day-Lewis and Emma Watson show up there again someday to perhaps prove me wrong.

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