Who gives a monkey's about the IFTAs? Well...
Despite his cynicism, Barry Egan enjoyed a grand night of superstar suck-uppery and hold-your-nose cheesiness
A FEW years ago, The New Yorker mag published a spoof of the Country Music Awards.
The somewhat ridiculous fictional winners ranged from Best Record Expressing the Soul of the Nineties Rebel (I'll Be Blowin' Out of Memphis at Midnight If I Can Finish My Taxes and Find a Sitter) to Catchiest Self-Pitying Record (I'd Be Dancing With You in Tulsa But God Wants Me In This Nursing Home) to Best Record Capturing A Man's Need To Cheat And Then Lie About It: Ten Years I Was Faithful, One Night I Was Me.
Last night, at the 11th Annual Irish Film & Television Awards in the Double Tree by Hilton in Dublin, the ridiculousness – albeit unintentional – was almost as high.
I mean, does anybody – apart from close relatives and family of the nominees – care who actually wins Best Editing Film/Drama or Best Makeup & Hair or Best Production Design'?
I could go on. As they did. On and on.
Did I forget to mention the award for Best Sound TV? I'm good with that, too. It's called a remote control.
Nor does anybody particularly give a flying mickey about Best International Film or Best International Actor and Best International Actress.
Or maybe I'm wrong – and Sandra Bullock and Amy Adams were doing shots in a bar in Hollywood yesterday, nervously wondering whether they had picked up an IFTA for Gravity and American Hustle respectively.
For the majority, however, the IFTAs last night was a great excuse to celebrate all that is great and creative and vibrant and vital about the Irish film and television industry. And of course, we should celebrate how successful, both here and abroad, the Irish film and TV industry has been.
But enough chat, you say. Who won the prizes? Well, the award for the most famous person to show up went to. . . deep breath. . . Michael Fassbender!
Joking aside, the legendary actor who hails from Killarney actually picked up Best Supporting Actor for Twelve Years A Slave. The big surprise of the night was that there were no real surprises. The hotly tipped Calvary won Best Film, and as expected, Brendan Gleeson won Best Actor for the lead in that film too. Saoirse Ronan won best actress for the brilliant Byzantium.
Sinead Cusack (with dapper looking husband Jeremy Irons) picked up best Supporting Actress for The Sea. Best TV Drama went to The Fall. Eva Birthistle won best actress in a lead role on television for Amber.
I mingled with the beautiful people, and had a quick chat with President Higgins and his lovely wife Sabina.
There is something especially cool about shooting the breeze with the Prez. Almost as captivating was a chat with the equally charming Philomena Lee (on whose heartbreaking life story the movie Philomena is based).
"I had a great time in Los Angeles at the Oscars," said fab Philo, who was out last night with her daughter Jane Libberton and actor Steve Coogan.
The bewitching Morah Ryan – with Claudine Farrell – was in great form, while her famous bro was sporting a dirty big moustache straight out of the Wild West.
It was a night of high-octane glamour. Amy Huberman, Victoria Smurfit, Miriam O'Callaghan, all the girls from Love/Hate – take a bow.
It's easy to be cynical about such a self-congratulatory pageant, such a grand night of superstar suck-uppery and hold-your-nose cheesiness – but last night's Irish Oscars, at the hotel they once called the Burlo, proved a very rewarding evening in Dublin.