It is the one award no Hollywood star wants to win. The Razzies on Saturday unveiled their annual list of the year’s most dreadful movies, with the critically slated musical Cats at the top — or arguably rock bottom — of the charts.
Among its nine unwanted nominations, Cats landed acting nods for Judi Dench, James Corden and Rebel Wilson.
The film — an adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical — used computer-generated effects to morph its all-star cast into deeply unnerving half-human, half-cat hybrids.
It received stunningly bad reviews. The Guardian called it a “dreadful hairball of woe,” while for the Wall Street Journal it was “a confusing litter box of intentions.”
Cats received a further two nominations in the worst screen combo category — for “any two half-feline/half-human hairballs” and “Jason Derulo & his CGI-neutered bulge.”
Also racking up the nominations were Sylvester Stallone’s disastrous latest Rambo sequel, and The Fanatic, a not-so-thrilling thriller starring John Travolta and directed by former Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst.
Formally known as the Golden Raspberry Awards, the Razzies are usually handed out the day before the Oscars, serving to mock the following night’s self-congratulatory Tinseltown pageantry.
This year, with the Oscars unusually early and the entire award season curtailed, organizers settled for just announcing the Razzies nominees instead.
Meanwhile, over at the Film Independent Spirit Awards, Lulu Wang’s family drama The Farewell took the top prize, while Adam Sandler and the Safdie brothers’ Uncut Gems also landed awards.
The win for The Farewell was a surprise, but also a fitting finale to a Spirit Awards that exalted female filmmakers and put forth a far more diverse field of nominees than the Oscars.
Wang referenced the conversation around the dearth of female filmmaker nominated by the Academy Awards in her speech. “You don’t have to encourage women. There are lots of women making films, in film school,” Wang said. “What women need is just the job. Give them the freaking job!”
The Spirits, put on by Film Independent, a nonprofit group of about 7,000 film enthusiasts, and held in an ocean-side tent on the Santa Monica, California, beach, cap their indie nominees at a budget of US$22.5 million.
In her opening, host Aubrey Plaza alluded to the different perspective of the Spirits.
“The Independent Spirit Awards are always cooler than the Oscars,” Plaza said. “It’s the daytime, we’re on the beach, we recognize female directors”
The Farewell also won best supporting performance by a female actor for Zhao Shuzhen (趙淑珍), the grandmother in the film.
The boutique studio A24 dominated the Spirits, winning trophies for The Farewell, Uncut Gems and The Lighthouse.
Uncut Gems led all films with three awards, including best performance by a male actor for Sandler, best director for Josh and Ben Safdie, and best editing.
Only one Oscar favorite among the actors was also competing at the Spirits: Renee Zellweger. She won for her performance in the Judy Garland drama Judy.
Just one movie up for best picture at the Oscars was nominated for the Spirit Awards’ top prize: Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story.
It won for Baumbach’s screenplay and was awarded the Spirits’ ensemble award, dubbed the Robert Altman Award.
Olivia Wilde won best first feature for her high-school comedy Booksmart, best documentary went to American Factory, Willem Dafoe won best supporting actor for The Lighthouse, which was also honored for Jarin Blaschke’s cinematography.
South Korean director Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite won a single award, for best international film.
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