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All of the awards shows have made me curious—what happens when a group wins? Who gets to keep the statue? With so many people involved, who can put it on their mantle?
—Kay, Minnesota

The B!tch Replies:  Most award-giving bodies use specific rules to limit the number of small, nude metal people they give away in each category. After all, Angelina Jolie's licorice-whip arms look like they can barely hold up a single Oscar, so making her dole out seven or eight during a Best Picture presentation could probably give her a stroke.

The most common way academies determine who deserves what: Professional credits. If your name doesn't appear in the short list before the start of a movie or TV show, Angelina will not be dragging a 12-pound Best Ensemble Actor statuette over to your unfamous ass at any point in the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

For movie stars, SAG gives Best Cast statuettes only to people with single-billed onscreen credits. So, Steve Carell, Alan Arkin, Abigail Breslin and Toni Collette each got their own Actor as part of their Little Miss Sunshine win, but the mean lady who horded grandpa's body at the hospital did not. The corpse hoarder, along with the rest of the secondary Sunshine cast, got SAG Awards certificates instead.

A similar SAG rule applies for TV casts. Only credited actors who appear in at least half of a season's episodes get statuettes. Actors who appear in three or more episodes get a certificate. And actors who show up just long enough to flop across a Grey's Anatomy operating table and die get  gold-foil stars and hand stamps that read, "No. 1 Frightened Student in Car Wreck."

Oscar, being precious and historical, does things differently, of course. Best Picture statuettes go to no more than three producers—period. If the filmmakers can't decide who should comprise the three, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences calls up the Producers Guild and acts on the union's recommendations (as just happened with Brad Grey's unsuccessful fight for producer credit on The Departed). Ditto with music—only three gold men per Best Song category.

There's a loophole in all this, though: The Oscar people tell me there is no limit on the number of writers who can get screenplay statuettes.

"So, if Borat wins in the Adapted Screenplay category," an Oscar spokeswoman tells me, "there will be five statuettes awarded."


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