Hollywood Awards (Almost) Everything
Ask Any Award-Winning Publicist, Hollywood Loves to Congratulate Itself
By Buck Wolf
Feb. 24 You're how old and you haven't won an Oscar? Don't cry. Hollywood gives out so many trophies, folks in the entertainment industry might feel honored if they can manage not to win anything.
The show business world loves to salute itself. This time of year, there are multiple award shows every week.
Just keeping up with the Oscars, Grammys, Golden Globes, and various other award shows could be a full-time job. In fact, it is a full-time job for award show expert Tom O'Neil. He runs Goldderby.com, which tracks the distribution of more than 4,000 annual show business awards.
Just like actors, directors and producers, these days Hollywood hairstylists, stuntmen and even publicists dispense glitzy awards. The field is so crowded, it can lead to confusion. Sound editors honor each other at the Golden Reel Awards, not to be confused with the Reel Awards given out to the best celebrity impersonators. Even the competition to dishonor Tinseltown's top turkeys is supersaturated with mock awards like the Razzies, Phlemmies and Stinkers.
If some of the more obscure awards have you confused, here's a little guide:
Best Coming Attractions: At the Oscars last year, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers lost out for best picture. However, the second installment of the Tolkien trilogy won a "Golden Trailer" for best action movie preview.
The movie trailer business is no joke. "Movie trailers play an increasingly important role in entertaining us and helping us determine where to spend our leisure time," according to goldentrailers.com.
"The best trailers are works of art in their own right, expertly blending elements of cinema and advertising."
If the producers who make coming attractions are making their jobs seem better than they actually are, that just proves they're good at what they do.
Dennis Miller hosted last year's Golden Trailers ceremony in Los Angeles as About Schmidt swept awards in the best comedy, best of show, music and voiceover categories.
Best Fraud: Woody Allen is famous for boycotting award shows. In Annie Hall he joked that Hollywood would be inclined to honor Adolf Hitler as "Best Fascist Dictator." But Woody's No. 1 celebrity impersonator David Pires feels differently.
Why shouldn't Pires and other celebrity impersonators have the "Reel Awards" their own version of the Oscars? The tongue-in-cheek event is held in Los Angeles during Oscar week, with screaming fans and red-carpet arrivals at Hollywood's famed Roosevelt Hotel.
Last year, Nick D'Egidio picked up honors for his Frank Sinatra impression. Brendan Paul got a nod for his Elvis act, while the illustrious "Career Achievement" award went to Gene Greytak, who likes to play Pope John Paul II.
Other honors went to Dee Dee Hanson, who took a prize for her work as Joan Rivers, which can be easy, given the comedian's slavish devotion to plastic surgery.
At this year's ceremony, let's just hope the Russell Crowe look-alike doesn't punch anyone out.
Best Hack: How often is Johnny Depp hailed as a role model? The Hollywood bad boy recently won the American Lung Association's "Hackademy" Award for keeping his salty character tobacco-free in Pirates of the Caribbean.
The anti-smoking society also gives "Black Lung" honors. Last year's butt-ugly performance went to Catherine Zeta-Jones, who was cited for "dancing with a cigarette in her mouth" in Chicago.
This year, Diane Keaton won a Black Lung for Something's Gotta Give. In it, her character begins as a nonsmoker, only to start puffing at the end. Hey, it's not easy to be Jack Nicholson's on-screen girlfriend, especially after he's dated your on-screen daughter. Best Hype: Just days before the Oscars, Hollywood's top hype men gather to hype each other with the coveted Hollywood Showmanship Award.
At last year's fete, Martin Scorsese thanked New York PR agent Lois Smith for all the work she had done on Gangs of New York.. Top honors, however, went to the powerhouses behind My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
Best Friend of the Forest: All God's creatures deserve respect even a cartoon fish. Finding Nemo is among this year's recipients of the Genesis Awards given to films that recognize the rights and dignity of animals.
Other top dogs: Reese Witherspoon and her Chihuahua from Legally Blonde 2. In the film, the ditsy blonde and her beloved pocket pooch Bruiser crusade against the cosmetics industry for testing products on animals.
Best Smooch: Witherspoon is not just a fighter, she's a kisser. At last year's Teen People's Teen Choice Awards, she won "Choice Movie Liplock" for her steamy smooches with costar Josh Lucas in Sweet Home Alabama.
More impressive than the award is the list of nominees Witherspoon and Lucas beat out including Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz for Gangs of New York and Eminem and Brittany Murphy for 8 Mile. Best Fight: If you're looking for a real fight or at least a reasonable facsimile just ask Hollywood's community of stuntwomen and men, who honor their best each spring at the Taurus Awards.
Spider-Man and Green Goblin seemed like a good choice for best fight scene at the third annual show last year. But the honor went to Blade II.
Action-movie stars have been quick to honor the people who do their dirty work. "What film would be like without stunts we actually would have to come up with some dialogue," Arnold Schwarzenegger mused in a testimonial on the Taurus Award Web site.
Best of the Worst: Even Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck are getting a shower of awards this year for their disastrous pairing in Gigli. Of course, these aren't the ones you want on your mantelpiece.
Gigli will go down in history for winning five "Stinker" Awards, given by the Bad Cinema Society, a secret society of movie buffs and critics. Since 1980, only John Travolta's Battlefield Earth has been dishonored with so many trophies.
The Stinkers recognized Jen and Ben as worst actress and actor, and worst big-screen couple. They also took a prize for their bad fake accents.
Bennifer may be in for more dishonor. The Golden Raspberry Foundation hands out its "Razzie" awards the day before the Oscars and Gigli has a leading nine nominations, including two nods in the worst supporting actor category for Al Pacino and Christopher Walken, both of whom appeared in the box-office dud.
Three years ago, Tom Green became the first Razzie winner brave enough to accept his award in person. He earned dubious honors for Freddy Got Fingered, a lighthearted romp that included, among other things, Green's climactic moment with a promiscuous elephant.
Green showed up at the Razzie ceremony in a tux with his own red carpet and graciously thanked other nominees in his acceptance speech. He and the elephant shared honors for worst screen duo.
Still, don't expect Lopez and Affleck at the podium when Razzie founder John Nelson hands out its not-so-coveted gold spray-painted raspberry mounted atop mangled reels of Super 8 film.
Lopez and Affleck may not even win. After all, 2003 boasted some impressive duds: American Idol beach bomb From Justin to Kelly, Charlie's Angel sequel Full Throttle, and Mike Myers' hairball, The Cat in the Hat.
Another candidate that can't be overlooked, Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over featuring Sylvester Stallone as an evil video-game mastermind set on global domination. Stallone is the most Razzed celebrity in the 25-year history of the award, with eight trophies to his discredit.
Buck Wolf is entertainment producer at ABCNEWS.com. The Wolf Files is published Tuesdays. If you want to receive weekly notice when a new column is published, join the e-mail list.