Every year, the Academy Awards celebrate the finest achievements in film. Yet, the same weekend as a new crop of Oscar winners are christened, the Golden Raspberry Awards – better known as the Razzies – are “awarded” to the worst Hollywood had to offer.
This year’s biggest Razzie-winning films were Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party.
Since 1981, the Razzies have sought out to roast some of the year’s most heavily vilified films and parody the Oscar ceremony itself. Categories included such standards as worst picture, but over the years, new ones like worst prequel, remake, rip-off or sequel have been added to accommodate the shifting industry.
Winners are decided by paid members of the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation.
La La Land earned a record-tying 14 Oscar nominations this year and is expected to possibly sweep the ceremony, but at the Razzies, Dawn of Justice and Hillary’s America each won four awards, with the latter named worst picture. Hillary’s America – a political documentary taking aiming at then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party – also was recognized with worst director for filmmakers Dinesh D’Souza and Bruce Schooley, worst actor for D’Souza and worst actress for Becky Turner, who plays Clinton in dramatizations.
Meanwhile, Jesse Eisenberg earned Worst Supporting Actor for his performance as Lex Luthor in Dawn of Justice. In addition, the Warner Bros. epic claimed worst screen combo for Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill’s title roles, worst screenplay, and worst prequel, remake, rip-off or sequel.
Kristen Wiig was named worst supporting actress for Zoolander 2, and Mel Gibson – on whom our own Michael Hinman recently shared his thoughts – received the Razzie Redeemer Award for directing this year’s Oscar-nominated Hacksaw Ridge. Indeed, Gibson’s war drama has been seen as many to mark a return to form for the controversial Hollywood icon.
In a cinematic year marked by divisive superhero epics and more divisive politics, it stands to reason this year’s Razzies would reflect this climate. Both Dawn of Justice and Hillary’s America received a poor critical reception, with the latter in fact earning a 4 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Politics aside, the film has been roundly maligned for its poor filmmaking, propaganda-style approach, and lack of a coherent argument.
So, though documentaries rarely receive such widespread attention in the Razzies, there is a case to be made for Hillary’s America‘s wins here.
Not necessarily the case with Dawn of Justice. With just 27 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, director Zack Snyder’s film isn’t likely to be hailed as a classic anytime soon – but it’s far from the worst or even the most hated film of the year.
Considering the amount of hype surrounding the showdown between the Dark Knight and the Man of Steel, the resulting film was certainly a disappointment to many, to the point that it led to a shift in the studio’s approach going forward. We’re betting the disparity between its critical reception and the film’s $873 million worldwide box office gross is behind all the Razzies for Dawn of Justice.
Robert Yaniz Jr.
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