Not-so-shocking confession: The 2013 MTV Movie Award nominations were just announced, and I’m psyched about it. Sure, the ceremony has become overrun with Twihard vote-in victories, but that doesn’t mean the ceremony is a total drag. In fact, I can think of five times the MTV Movie Awards restored my faith in award show culture and, subsequently, life itself. Here are the five greatest moments in MTV Movie Award history.
5. 1992: Best Movie — Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Boyz n the Hood
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Going all the way back to the first ceremony, MTV rained trophies on Terminator 2: Judgment Day, and with good reason: It’s one of the most watchable action movies ever and features some of the most well-developed characters in the history of the genre. Sorry, Lisbeth Salander, but Sarah Connor has more grit and fabulousness in one strap of her tanktop than you do in the entire Erector Set pierced into your skull. It’s fair to note that Silence of the Lambs should’ve been nominated for something during the same year, but obviously MTV wanted to establish an Oscar-contrarian streak right at the onset.
4. 2004: Best Male Performance — Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
Jim Caviezel – The Passion of the Christ
Tom Cruise – The Last Samurai
Bill Murray – Lost in Translation
Adam Sandler – 50 First Dates
Yes, Johnny Depp’s first performance as Captain Jack Sparrow was immediately well-received, but that doesn’t mean it picked up all the necessary trophies. The fact is, this performance is the male version of Meryl Streep’s miraculous, Mirandulous work in The Devil Wears Prada: It completely elevates the Disneyesque material, it features one-of-a-kind wickedness, and absolutely no other actor could’ve filled the role in the same magical way. I’ll always be thankful Johnny Depp picked up an Oscar nomination, but I’m more relieved he received some Golden Popcorn for reinventing kookiness in a movie that should’ve been anything but tolerable.
3. 2005: Best Female Breakthrough Performance — Rachel McAdams in Mean Girls
Ashanti – Coach Carter
Elisha Cuthbert – The Girl Next Door
Bryce Dallas Howard – The Village
Emmy Rossum – The Day After Tomorrow
It’s so rare that we see wonderful high school villains anymore. The days of Heathers, Scream, and Ordinary People (hey, that swim team coach was an ass!) are well behind us, so it was especially pleasant when MTV honored the single nastiest upperclasswoman of the 2000s: Regina George. She’ll fake-compliment your stupid bracelet, spread lesbian rumors about you, and announce her new diet because she wants to lose three pounds. She’s an unstoppable awful force, and she may have been the last person to fill Lindsay Lohan with actual fear. Let’s give her a Purple Heart too.
2. 1996: Best Female Performance — Alicia Silverstone in Clueless
Sandra Bullock – While You Were Sleeping
Michelle Pfeiffer – Dangerous Minds
Susan Sarandon – Dead Man Walking
Sharon Stone – Casino
In an alternate universe, Alicia Silverstone’s work as Cher Horowitz is rewarded with every prestigious honor available, including whatever this beautiful alternate universe’s version of the Oscar, BAFTA, Pulitzer, and Nobel Prize in the category of Virgins Who Can’t Drive is. Cher’s resourceful, contemplative, loquacious, critical, ridiculous, and in the market to date James Dean-loving men named Elton, so I’ve decided to declare her the saint of all time, my personal Jesus, and totally in love with Josh.
1. 2006: Best Kiss — Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain
Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard – Hustle & Flow
Anna Faris and Chris Marquette – Just Friends
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt – Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Rosario Dawson and Clive Owen – Sin City
Could there be any doubt? Every kiss shared between Ennis Del Mar and Jack Twist is an urgent, carnal, emotional, denim-bordered sensation, and the other nominees in this category should feel honored to be fake-considered by the powers that be. We’re talking about a kiss that required libidinous pressing against an unsuspecting wall, heartstopping tenseness, and an unabashedness that rendered Michelle Williams catatonic. It’s the classic of classics, and this honor makes MTV’s award handout seem like the only cool academy on the block.
What are your favorite MTV Movie Award moments?
The 2013 MTV Movie Awards with host Rebel Wilson airs Sunday April 14 at 9/8c