Awards Season Heats Up

With the new year comes the chance to celebrate and excoriate the entertainment offerings of the past 12 months. Awards shows kick into high gear this month, with critics, actors, journalists and the public at large deciding important issues like whether Johnny Depp deserves more accolades and just who should win the prize for Crest & Scope’s Spotlight Shining Smile (Go Yomarie T.!!!).

Golden Globe Awards (65th annual)

Jan. 13, 8pm ET, NBC

Who votes? Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a group of about 90 Los Angeles-based journalists who write entertainment stories for publications in other countries.
Track record: The Globes are often billed as the most reliable precursor to the Oscars. Just don’t tell that to Jim Carrey, who has won two acting Globes (The Truman Show, Man on the Moon) but never been nominated by the Academy.

Past Best Picture winners:
2007: Babel (drama); Dreamgirls (comedy/musical)
2006: Brokeback Mountain; Walk the Line
2005:>The Aviator; Sideways
Past Best Actor winners:
2007: Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland), Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat)
2006: Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote), Joaquin Phoenix (Walk the Line)
2005: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Aviator), Jamie Foxx (Ray)
Past Best Actress winners:
2007: Helen Mirren (The Queen), Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada)
2006: Felicity Huffman (Transamerica), Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line)
2005: Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby), Annette Bening (Being Julia)

Notable Moments: Pia Zadora’s win for New Star Of The Year in 1982, based on her performance in Butterfly, is still the defining day of infamy for this awards show. It also gives fuel to critics who claim the voters are highly susceptible to lavish junkets and access to celebrities.
Nominations: (Best Picture — Drama) American Gangster, Atonement, Eastern Promises, The Great Debaters, Michael Clayton, No Country For Old Men, There Will Be Blood; (Comedy or Musical) Across the Universe, Charlie Wilson’s War, Hairspray, Juno, Sweeney Todd; (Best Actor) George Clooney, Daniel Day-Lewis, James McAvoy, Viggo Mortensen, Denzel Washington; (Best Actress) Cate Blanchett, Julie Christie, Jodie Foster, Angelina Jolie, Keira Knightly

SAG Awards (14th annual)

Jan. 27, 8pm ET, TNT and TBS

Who votes? Two panels of 2,100 Screen Actors Guild members each are randomly selected to pick nominees. Then, after nominations are announced, the voting is opened up to the more than 100,000 guild members.
Track record: Winners often say that this award means more than most, because it is voted on by their peers. Only performers are honored, so when a movie title is listed as a winner, it refers to “Best Ensemble Performance.”

Past Best Picture winners:
2007: Little Miss Sunshine (motion picture); Grey’s Anatomy (drama series); The Office (comedy series)
2006: Crash, Lost, Desperate Housewives
2005: Sideways, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Desperate Housewives
Past Best Actor winners:
2007: Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland), Hugh Laurie (House), Alec Baldwin (30 Rock)
2006: Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote), Kiefer Sutherland (24), Sean Hayes (Will & Grace)
2005: Jamie Foxx (Ray), Jerry Orbach (Law & Order), Tony Shalhoub (Monk)
Past Best Actress winners:
2007: Helen Mirren (The Queen), Chandra Wilson (Grey’s Anatomy), America Ferrera (Ugly Betty)
2006: Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line), Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy), Felicity Huffman (Desperate Housewives)
2005: Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby), Jennifer Garner (Alias), Teri Hatcher (Desperate Housewives)

Notables: In accepting his acting award during the inaugural broadcast in 1995, Tom Hanks (Forrest Gump) pulled out his SAG card and proudly announced that he got it shooting the pilot for Bosom Buddies. The “How I Got My SAG Card” vignettes have since become a staple of the awards.
Nominations: Nominations weren’t announced as of presstime, and a publicist said members are restricted on commenting on specific categories beforehand.

Broadcast Film Critics Association’s Critics’ Choice Award (13th annual)

Jan. 7, 9pm ET, VH1

Who votes? About 200 TV, radio and online movie critics
Track record: The members are often derided as the so-called “junket press,” whose reliably effusive praise ends up on movie posters everywhere. But the awards are gaining in profile and vying with the Golden Globes for the silver medal in movie-awards relevancy.

Past Best Picture winners:
2007: The Departed
2006: Brokeback Mountain
2005: Sideways
Past Best Actor winners:
2007: Forest Whitaker (The Last King of Scotland)
2006: Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote)
2005: Jamie Foxx (Ray)
Past Best Actress winners:
2007: Helen Mirren (The Queen)
2006: Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line)
2005: Hilary Swank (Million Dollar Baby)

Notable Moments: In 2003, Daniel Day-Lewis (Gangs of New York) and Jack Nicholson (About Schmidt) tied for the best actor prize.
Predictions/nominations: Nominees weren’t yet announced as of presstime, but BFCA member Paul Hall of says he can’t remember a more wide-open field. Some of his favorites for the year include Cate Blanchett (I’m Not There) and Javier Bardem (No Country for Old Men).

People’s Choice Awards (34th annual)

Jan. 8, 9pm ET, CBS

Who votes? The general public; more specifically, anyone who registers at There is no limit on how often you can vote.
Track record: The categories use “favorite” instead of “best” to reflect the populist nature at work here. Johnny Depp has a shot to four-peat as a Favorite Male Star winner. Repeat winners are common, with the past five years yielding only two winners for favorite actor (Johnny Depp, Mel Gibson) and three for favorite actress (Jennifer Aniston, Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts). In 2005, Roberts also won for Favorite Smile.

Past Favorite Movie winners:
2007: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
2006: Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith
2005: The Passion of the Christ
Past Favorite Male Actor winners:
2007: Johnny Depp
2006: Johnny Depp
2005: Johnny Depp
Past Favorite Female Actor winners:
2007: Jennifer Aniston
2006: Sandra Bullock
2005: Julia Roberts

Notable Moments: Categories are also known to change yearly. New this time around: Favorite Threequel, which coincidentally contains two nominees also up for Favorite Movie.
Nominations: (Favorite Movie) The Bourne Ultimatum, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and Transformers; (Favorite Male Movie Star) Johnny Depp, Denzel Washington, Bruce Willis; (Favorite Female Movie Star) Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock, Reese Witherspoon