When you look at today’s fresh Golden Raspberry nominations in which Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 sits alongside That’s My Boy and, to be honest, nothing of any real note, it might be easy to forget how different some of the choices were in the awards’ earliest years.
For example, the first time around, Stanley Kubrick was nominated as Worst Director for The Shining.
Then, in the second year, Michael Cimino actually won for Heaven’s Gate – a fine film, if flawed, added to The Criterion Collection last November, and which has long since welcomed into “the canon.” That’s not going to be happening with That’s My Boy. None of it.
Laurence Olivier was awarded the Worst Actor gong in year 3, for Inchon. At his prime, Sir Larry was the recipient of more plaudits for his performances in just half an hour than Kristen Stewart, say, will receive in her lifetime. Even if his performance in Inchon was Olivier at his worst, the nomination still feels like the pricking of ego and not just the burning of a straw man.
That year they also gave a special award to Irwin Allen, the producer of The Towering Inferno and The Poseidon Adventure – films that are remembered rather fondly now, I feel, though this maybe illustrates a nostalgic effect as much as it shows a slide in Razzie relevance.
In the fourth year, Brian De Palma was nominated as Worst Director for Scarface – then again the year after for Body Double. He’d been nominated for Dressed to Kill in the first year and his fifth – and to date final nomination – was for Mission to Mars. It’s Scarface that seems like the oddest pick from today’s perspective, though – and it’s hard to imagine any of this year’s nominees will be held in that kind of esteem as they approach their thirtieth anniversaries.
There were definitely some films in 2012 that seem to fit the “old Razzie mentality.” Cloud Atlas strikes me as something the nominators of 1980 would have raised an eyebrow at – and The Dark Knight Rises too, very possibly.
Today, the target seems to be well-known, popular mediocrity. I think I’d rather the Razzie contributors would gun for indulgence, smugness or pretention, even if I don’t see those characteristics where they might, or just flat-out dreadfulness of the “I can’t believe this got made” variety.