Monday, February 25, 2013

A Note on The 33rd Razzies

The Oscars, of course, were not the only movie awards ceremony held this past weekend. So were the Golden Raspberry Awards, "celebrating" the worst in filmmaking this past year. Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part 2 swept this ceremony, taking the "prizes" for Worst Actress (Kristen Stewart, also recognized here for her performance in Snow White and the Huntsman), Worst Supporting Actor (Taylor Lautner), Worst Screen Ensemble, Worst Director (Bill Condon), Worst Prequel, Rip-Off or Sequel and Worst Picture. Also prominent: Adam Sandler's That's My Boy, which got Worst Actor and Worst Screenplay, while Battleship was also recognized with a Worst Supporting Actress prize for Rihanna.

It may seem at first glance that the Oscars and Razzies, with their different purposes and differing lists of nominees and winners, have little in common. Nonetheless, they are both indexes of much besides attitudes about cinematic quality, or the lack of it, with the politics of the Razzies at least as influential as the better-known politics of the Oscars. Razzies are awarded to films which are not merely bad, but notorious for being bad, and so often a function of poor pre-release buzz, of media backlashes against particular artists, of irritation with the ubiquity of particular cultural phenomena. The last of these was probably decisive in the beating the last installment of the Twilight saga took, while the prize handed That's My Boy likely reflects an annoyance with the way he manages to keep cranking out (admittedly awful) films despite the opprobrium to which they have long been subject.

The chance to laugh at a famous singer trying her hand at acting - and the feeling that Battleship deserved some recognition as a bad movie, likely decided Rihanna's win in that category. There is no pretending her performance was something to celebrate, but my impression was that much more fault lay with the thin, trite script than with any of the actors - and that just as Supporting Actor Oscars are often consolation prizes for movies that fail to get other, more prestigious awards, so did this Razzie perform that function here.

On The 85th Academy Awards
And The Worst Movie of All Time Is . . .
The Irrelevance of Oscar Night?

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