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Most stars were unsure of their fate before the People’s Choice awards in Pasadena on Jan. 12. But Nia Vardalos knew her sleeper hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding would pull in a big, fat win—and not just because of her fans. “My family got online and voted,” she said. “No one else had a chance.”

Across the country at the New York Film Critics Circle awards, Far From Heaven cleaned up, while the National Board of Review honored The Hours as Best Picture. “They’re like little reunions,” said Chicago’s Renée Zellweger of this season’s lineup of awards parties. “We get all gussied up and get to see our friends.”