I never understood why the Golden Globes are such prestigious awards. I mean, what really makes them any different from any other critics awards? How did the Hollywood Foreign Press Association become so popular that millions of viewers tune in every year to witness the group's choices for best this and best that? I mean, they shouldn't be any more important than the International Press Academy, right?

Who? The IPA, that group that hands out the Satellite Awards. Never heard of them? Well, they just celebrated their 11th annual event on Sunday, and they're about as useless as the HFPA, only more so because they don't even get a broadcast. The IPA has more to do with the HFPA, too. The group is actually a spin-off of the more familiar awards-givers, having separated in 1996 as a broader organization (HFPA is very exclusive, IPA claims to admit any interested journalists), which explains their spin-off-sounding award name.

Such a large association of members is likely to present some disagreeable choices in their award-giving, and certainly this year's Satellites are further evidence of how and why the awards season is way out of control. Here are some of the winners that will probably stay exclusive to the IPA's choices: Joseph Cross as best comedic actor; Leonardo DiCaprio as best supporting actor (who did he support?); Pan's Labyrinth as best animated/mixed-media film; X-Men: The Last Stand for best film editing.

I'll give the IPA one thing over the HFPA (wait, I don't really hold the HFPA high at all), at least they honor documentaries (winner: Deliver Us from Evil) -- the last Golden Globe for non-fiction film was given out thirty years ago. In fact, they even separately honor documentary DVDs (winner: the recycled-material-packaged An Inconvenient Truth).

As for the major awards, there are no huge surprises, although the IPA seem a little too Flags of Our Fathers happy. The other main dramatic acting awards are the same old, same old.

You can look at the whole pdf-file press release of all the Satellite winners here.