Hollywood Celebrates Award Boom

Mia Becker

Well its 2009, and with that comes new year’s resolutions, longer days, the inauguration of President Barack Obama, and a month-long boom of award shows honoring the greatest films and television shows of the past year, and the actors, writers, directors, and composers that have contributed to their success.

The biggest nominations this year are films like The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Slumdog Millionaire, Doubt, Frost/Nixon, and Milk. Actresses Angelina Jolie, Meryl Streep, Anne Hathway, Kate Winslet are nominated numerous times for Best Lead Actress, Brad Pitt, Sean Penn, and Mickey Rourke have grabbed equal nominations for  Best Lead Actor, and Heath Ledger has ruled the top spot for Best Supporting Actor. Acclaimed Directors David Fincher, Darren Arronsofky, Gus Van Sant, and Danny Boyle have filled the Best Director seat for many of these award shows, and the top films have been nominated for their composed and constructed soundtracks to boot, spotlighting the works of Alexandere Desplat, A.R Rahman, and Danny Elfman. Popular television shows like The Office, 30 Rock, House, Mad Men, and Brothers & Sisters filled up the nominations for Best TV Comedy/or Drama.

The Critics Choice Awards kicked off the rush on Jan. 8, which aired live on Vh1 from the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium. The event was sponsored by the Broadcast Film Critics Association, and nominees and winners were compiled from groups of film critics. The Critics Choice Awards isn’t really well regarded by most actors, as host Jason Alexander said, “This prestigious event where critics kiss the asses of the stars, whose asses they spend the rest of the year kicking to the curb.”

Anne Hathaway took the award for Best Lead Actress for her role in Rachel Getting Married, while Mickey Rourke won for Best Lead Actor (The Wrestler), and Slumdog picked up many awards and Best Film.

The Golden Globes, with some choppy production work and awkward camera close-ups of the nominees, aired live on NBC Jan. 11 from the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel. Expected wins were Heath Ledger for Best Supporting Actor (The Dark Knight) and 30 Rock for Best Comedy Television series, but Colin Farrell headed the biggest upset when he won for Best Lead Actor (In Bruges). Kate Winslet was the star of the night, winning Best Supporting Actress and Best Lead Actress, for The Reader and Revolutionary Road, respectively.

The film industry was in high spirits for the Screen Actor Guild Awards on Jan. 25 from the Shine Auditorium, an awards show where actors’ work is judged by their peers. It’s an awards show where the actors, and extended parties, are actually happy to be attending. The airing of the show was well-produced, and there were some surprising wins. Meryl Streep took the win for Best Lead Actress (Doubt) and Sean Penn won for Best Lead Actor (Milk). Both actors delivered some emotional and amusing acceptance speeches at the podium. Slumdog won Best Film once again and 30 Rock stars Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin continued to sweep wins for best TV Comedy Series. Happily, House’s Hugh Laurie won for best male actor in a TV Drama show, “I actually had $100 on James Spader [Boston Legal]. This is just not my night,” said Laurie during his acceptance speech.

Not too long before the SAG Awards, the nominations for the 2009 Academy Awards were announced. The event will take place later this month on Feb. 22 airing live from The Kodak Theatre in Hollywood and will be hosted by Hugh Jackman. The biggest films of the year, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Slumdog Millionaire, scored 13 and 10 nominations total, respectively. The nominees for Best Lead Actress, Actor, Director, and such, followed suit with previous award shows for the most part.

Any kind of Oscar win predictions? Well, I’m sure Slumdog will take away an award for Best Film, however, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was so beautifully constructed that I’m sure it will be taking at least half of the awards it was nominated for, most notably for editing, cinematography, makeup, and special effects. Best Lead Actor will probably go to Sean Penn or Mickey Rourke, however I would love to see Brad Pitt finally win an award. Best Supporting Actor will probably go to Heath Ledger (which would also make it a full sweep for his portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight) and Best Lead Actress is up for grabs. Lead Actress has had a different winner from every award show these past few weeks. Maybe Angelina Jolie will take home the biggest award of them all, or maybe Kate Winslet will win her first Lead Actress statuette. Either way it has been a great season for films, and may the best men and women win.

For a full list of past winners and current Oscar nominees visit www.us.imdb.com.