The Most Important Awards of the Season

This was the first year in over a decade that I didn’t dutifully get up at six in the morning to watch the Oscar nominations live. There were a variety of factors for this. I’m working on a big project at work so I wanted to get all the sleep I could (getting up extra early kind of wrecks the day, you know?). Mostly, though, is what the experience that early really is. You watch the announcement but they only focus on the top categories. And while things like Best Picture and Best Supporting Actor are important, I often watch the music, song, and other categories. Which sounds like not a big deal. Right after the live announcement the anchors at E! have the numbers for the total number of nominations, figures that include the minor categories. You’d think that you could then go online to see the full list of nominations right away. 

You’d think. But you would be wrong.

It’s the 21st century, but up until last year at least you could not get the complete set of nominations for at least a half hour past the initial announcements. Whaaat?  So, besides hearing the Oscar experts talk about who was snubbed, what is the point of getting up early? So, this year I skipped it.

That said, I’m still really interested in the Oscars this year as in year’s past. I have an ongoing bet with my aunt Jill back in Connecticut who is also an avid Oscar-fan. Each year we try to get the most picks correct and after about eight or so years doing this I think it’s been an even split. So, it is a true accomplishment to win the yearly bet.

This year, I was naturally rooting for Tropic Thunder’s Robert Downey Jr. to get a Best Supporting Actor nomination. Because you don’t often get a chance for an Oscar nomination from a Ben Stiller film (ever since Dodgeball was “snubbed” back in 2004). So, even though RDJ was on a lot of precursor awards it was still great to see him nominated this year. Even though he’ll lose to Heath Ledger.

Other Awards

Meanwhile, it had been my dream for some time to run by own yearly awards. The Razzies are an example of a grassroots award system that sprung up and now has national prominence. I even joined the Razzie academy to vote. But a funny thing happened on the way to the ceremony. I realized the Razzies are just as “cliquish” as the Oscars. In fact, the Razzie organizers basically give you a ballot with a few choices and then ask you to nominate from that – which means that its not the vote of the Razzie voters but the editors. Bogus, totally bogus!

For the past three years, The Frat Pack Tribute has run it’s own set of awards, called the Earmuffs. If the Razzies are a “limited” view of the movie awards, the Earmuffs are a micro view. We only look at movies from the Frat Pack, Team Apatow, and their friends.  The awards are voted on by the fans – totally democratic.

This year, the nominations were collected via web survey for the first time, and our participation went up over 300%. Still not thousands but a big improvement year over year. And it was a lot of work to whittle down 26 categories to three nominees per category. So, I hope that now that we only have five in each category with just a single choice that we’ll have even more voting for the actual awards.

The Earmuffs are a fun set of awards. Serious – in that we actually do recognize filmmakers with serious categories like Best Director and Best Picture. But also not-so-serious, with categories like Best Sex Scene and an award for Dubious Achievement.

Earmuff Award Nominees

Romantic farce Forgetting Sarah Marshall led all contenders with 27 nominations for the 2008 Frat Pack Earmuff Awards. The film written and starring Jason Segel was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Sex Scene, and Best Character, amongst others.

Ben Stiller’s action-comedy Tropic Thunder received a Best Picture nomination and 21 nominations total. Stiller was nominated for Directing and Robert Downey Jr. and Jack Black received acting nods. Protests from humor-adverse advocacy groups garnered a nomination for Dubious Achievement.

Will Ferrell received a Best Actor nomination for Step Brothers, a film that received 14 total nominations including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Catch-Phrase, and Best Sound Bite. Step Brothers‘ costar John C. Reilly received a nomination for Best Performance by a Frat Pack Friend.

Stoner comedy Pineapple Express was a summer favorite and recieved numerous nominations from the Earmuff voters. In addition to Best Picture, the film received several nominations in the category for Best Use of Drugs/Alcohol as well as for Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Character.

Steve Carell received a total of four nominations, leading all individuals. In addition to a Voice-Over award for Horton Hears a Who!, Carell also received a Best Actor nod forGet Smart. The film also scored nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress and 9 nominations in total.

The Earmuff Awards are voted on by Frat Pack fans worldwide. The ballot for fans to vote for the winners will be available on January 25th.

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