Know Your Awards Shows: Our Handy Guide
Most likely to feature an unsolicited political statement—The Academy Awards
The Oscars have always been a hotbed of activism, from Brando boycotting the 1973 awards because of the film industry’s treatment of Native Americans (an Apache woman named Sacheen Littlefeather accepted his Best Actor award on his behalf), all the way to Michael Moore’s anti-Iraq-war rant at the 2003 show. Producers of the telecast have been known to disinvite or intimidate actors they felt were most likely to stir up trouble. Looking at you, Susan Sarandon.
Most likely to feature celebs getting wasted—The Golden Globes
The Globes are a sit-down dinner, complete with plenty of champagne and other imbibables. Whether to celebrate a win or to forget about a loss, some celebs nip a little too much, resulting in some outrageous—and highly entertaining—behavior, such as Paz de la Huerta’s 2011 meltdown, where she was so drunky-drunk she had a nip slip, fell down, and wasn’t allowed into any after-parties.
_Photo credit: TMZ
Most likely to result in a walk of shame—The Golden Globes
Celebs + booze = January Jones photographed being dropped off at her house the morning after the Globes wearing the dress she wore the night before. This totally happened.
Most likely to result in hilarious fashion—The Independent Spirit Awards
These days, stars’ wardrobes for big events are micromanaged by stylists, so there aren’t very many “swan dress” moments. But the Spirit awards are fairly low-key, so the audience gets to see some pretty interesting sartorial choices, such as Anna Kendrick dressed as a ’90s bordello vixen.
Most likely to make everyone cry—The Academy Awards
No matter how cheesy the musical accompaniment (Celine Dion singing “Smile”), The Oscars’ “In Memoriam” segment will make you realize just how much you miss the stars who passed away last year.
_Photo credit: Film Junk
Most likely to actually be funny—The Golden Globes
Since it has the reputation as the awards show where “anything goes,” the Globes can attract boundary-pushing hosts like Ricky Gervais. See also: booze.
Photo credit: Paul Drinkwater/Reuters
Most likely to feature speeches about “craft”—The Screen Actors’ Guild Awards
Even the statuette is sanctimonious. Since the SAG awards are chosen by other actors, many performers feel the need to go on lengthy diatribes about their “craft” or their “method,” saying how the SAG award is the only one that’s truly meaningful, because it came from the actors. Hey actors, this is boring.
Most randoms—The Academy Awards
Most viewers don’t know Edith Head from Thelma Schoonmaker. Did you know that winners in technical (read: non-famous) categories get a shorter time allotment to make their speeches? It’s true. Gotta reserve those precious minutes for Jack Nicholson.
Most likely to give an award to Meryl Streep—The Golden Globes
Streep has been nominated for twenty-five Globes and won seven, giving her a hefty 28 percent win rate. For the Oscars, her win rate is only 18 percent, and she’s fared even poorer at the SAG awards, where she’s won only 13 percent of the awards she’s been nominated for. If you want to see Streep accept an award in a blowsy and gracious manner, tune in to the Globes.
Show with most movies you’ve never heard of—The Independent Spirit Awards
The only films eligible for Spirit awards are those with budgets of $20 million or less which demonstrate original, provocative subject matter and a unique vision. That eliminates most movies you’ve actually heard of, leaving those that only showed on ten screens for one weekend in August. But you’ll still know many of the stars in attendance, even if you’ve never heard of some of the movies they’re nominated for.
Most likely to inspire headlines about how worthless the awards are—The Golden Globes
The Globes are bestowed by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which is an organization of ninety foreign film critics who banded together in the 1940s. They wanted more clout in Hollywood, so they figured that sponsoring an awards show could get them better perks and access to stars. They were right. Studios bend over backward for the HFPA (because a Globes nomination is the first step to an Oscar nomination), wining and dining them and feting them at festivals, and NBC pays millions of dollars per year to broadcast the show. Being the film critic for Bulgaria Weekly is actually a pretty sweet gig.