The beginning of a new year and the end of an old one in Hollywood means that it's time to celebrate the best—and, in one case, the worst—in movies from the year just gone by. From the Oscars to the LA Film Critics Association prizes to the Hollywood Film Awards to the Razzies, film lovers and industry professionals take time out to dispense golden hardware and get everyone excited for the cinema.
Those already well versed in the specifics of each movie awards ceremony may benefit from reading a Complete Guide to Movie Awards in order to get a more detailed breakdown of past ceremony highlights. However, if you aren’t quite sure what the difference is between each awards ceremony, read on:
Of course, the Academy Awards are the oldest and most famous of all movie award ceremonies. The Oscars laud the best in film as judged by the voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Naming the best of everything from achievements in sound to the picture of the year, the Oscars have since 1929 attracted the most attention and best ratings. But it's far from the only influential awards show.
The Hollywood Film Awards are a relative newcomer, having been established in 1997, but its move to television on CBS in 2014 raised its profile dramatically. This show takes place in October or November each year and is watched closely, as it sets the stage for the Oscars in February. Most recently, its voters honored Gary Oldman with its Hollywood Career Achievement Award—possibly getting the jump on other shows expected to fete Oldman as Best Actor for his performance as Winston Churchill in Our Darkest Hour.
The LA Film Critics Association polls prominent writers on cinema for what they consider the finest in movie achievement in December each year, with the ceremony taking place in January. Awards earned here are believed to loom large in the minds of Academy Award voters as they consider their own picks.
One of the splashiest and most-followed awards ceremonies is The Golden Globes, which are chosen and presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The recent 75th-anniversary show named Gary Oldman as Best Actor in a Drama Motion Picture for his aforementioned starring role in Our Darkest Hour, making him the front-runner to win the Best Actor accolade at the 2018 Academy Awards.
In the midst of all this Hollywood back-patting, a welcome bit of self-deprecating humor comes from The Razzies, which celebrates the worst in cinema of the previous year. With tongue firmly in cheek, these "awards" are always presented the day before the Oscars and are followed by a (usually) amused industry. Perhaps the most notable event in the history of the Razzies is when actress Halle Berry, who had won the Oscar the year before for Monster's Ball, was the first recipient of its Worst Actress award to actually show up in person to collect it. She "won" the honor for her much-derided work in and as Catwoman.
Millions of film buffs follow the drama of these awards and ceremonies to see movie stars and other creative people in the industry. But what many consider best about the nominations, awards, and shows is that they get people talking about—and going to see—the movies.