2015 Grand Bell Awards Become the Site of Controversy as ODE TO MY FATHER Wins Out
At November 20’s Grand Bell Awards ceremony, the air was redolent with beef—grade-A, passive-aggressive, adult-tantrum-level beef. While JK Yoon’s ODE TO MY FATHER took home a whopping 10 total awards, the film’s victories were overshadowed by a rather large, pesky elephant in the room: the absentee nominees.
That’s right: all nine of the actors nominated for the Best Actor and Actress awards failed to show face at the ceremony. Coincidence? “Scheduling conflicts?” Please. We’re calling your beef.
According to Film Business Asia, the actors’ AWOL can most likely be chalked up to an angry boycott. The vacant seats and bare red carpet served as a big ol’ ironic middle finger to the awards committee, which earned the actors’ ire back in October with the announcement that only nominees who attended the ceremony would be permitted to win the awards. No-shows would be disqualified, and their awards redistributed to other nominees.
The amendment was meant to incentivize actors to attend, but clearly had the opposite effect. In response to the backlash, the Grand Bell’s Head of Operations opened fire on the boycotters’ attitudes. Per All K-Pop, the exec said that “the level of our country’s actors is that of a developing country. They don’t seem like stars. It’s a detriment to the country as a whole.”
Despite the Grand Bell Awards’ belated attempts to backtrack, eventually overturning their rule change and allowing for absentee winners once more, it seems the fat lady had long since sung on the matter. Only the two winners in the Best New Actor & Actress categories—Lee Min-ho of GAGMAN BLUES and Lee Yoo-young of LATE SPRING—attended to accept their awards.
All told, it was still a fantastic night for ODE TO MY FATHER‘s director JK Yoon & Co., despite the absence of their award-winning cast members, Best Actor Hwang Jung-min and Best Supporting Actor Oh Dal-Su. The sweeping melodrama successfully conflated 60 years of Korean history with the emotional wallop of one family’s personal struggle, a feat that earned them: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Sound-Recording, Best Planning, and the High Technology Special Award.
Their domination was so complete that Yoon even felt the need to apologize for reappearing so often on stage.
The moral of our story: victory may be sweet, but beef is juicy. Congrats to all the winners!