It’s Oscar season, superstars — the time of year all A-listers love! It’s a chance for celebrities to pull themselves away from the hard work they do for humanity each day and enjoy a night of endless fawning and accolades, which we all know makes them very uncomfortable.
But they put on a brave, Botoxed face and suffer through a night of dressing up in designer duds, their limbs dripping with jewels, teeth bleached, lips plumped and tanner applied before sitting impatiently among an audience of their frenemies, watching cheesy dance performances while waiting for their names to be called. It’s actually a lot like Senior Prom, but instead of a rhinestone-encrusted crown, the winners get a gold statuette to prove they were the most popular kids in high school all year.
It’s Hollywood’s Big Night, a rare occasion that allows celebrities to sparkle like the stars they are. But don’t confuse the Oscars, which are solely for movie stars, with the Emmys, which are for television stars, or with the Golden Globes, which honor both movie and television stars, or with the People’s Choice Awards, which celebrities will be quick to tell you is a great honor to receive since, you know, it’s from the people.
Though if celebs walk away empty-handed from any of those ceremonies, they have a shot at redemption at the SAG Awards (for writers), the DGA Awards (directors), the PGA Awards (producers), or the Independent Spirit Awards (indy films) — awards shows that, thankfully, also include categories that honor acting, ensuring that celebs will not feel slighted that the focus has shifted away from them and their contributions.
And, since egomania has a trickle-down effect, let’s not forget about the ASC Awards for cinematographers, the CDG Awards for costume designers and the IFMCA Awards for film critics. There are also awards shows specifically for film editors, sound editors, makeup artists, hairstylists, special effects coordinators, film animators and even designers of movie posters, since clearly, these roles are not given enough attention at the Oscars. Only a dedicated ceremony will do.
So instead of one Big Night for Hollywood, there are several big, little and medium-sized nights reserved for the back-slapping and ego-stroking celebrities don’t get enough of elsewhere in their lives. And thank God we have so many awards ceremonies for them, because, really, what good is all that money, fame and power without a few trophies to fill up the empty space in the mansion? Because if there’s anything that should be rewarded — multiple times — it’s an actor’s ability to be convincing while reciting lines written by someone else.
And forget the honor of just being nominated, the goal is to win and, by extension, to dominate. Next to box office totals, awards define the high-school hierarchy that underlies Hollywood’s high society, separating the A-listers from the B- and C-listers, the captain of the football team from the mascot in the chicken suit, the George Clooneys from the Ben Stillers.
Winning also provides an opportunity for celebrities to deliver the performance of their careers: an acceptance speech that is the perfect blend of fake humility, witty one-liners and half gratitude that thanks everyone except their plastic surgeon for making them who they are today. The speech is always paired with a split-screen of the other nominees, whose phony smiles belie their desire to give the winner a wedgy before stuffing them in a locker.
It’s a shame that winners don’t just blurt out, “I’m better than you, bitches, and this award proves it!” After all, it’s no coincidence that the Oscar statuette looks like an extended middle finger.