2017: The Year of The Political Razzie

Not even the hotly contested Worst Picture category was immune from 2017’s obsession with politics and Trump’s hair at this year’s 37th Annual Razzie Awards

Razzie Awards
Media credit: Rotten Tomatoes

In what was the only hotly contested race won by Hillary Clinton in 2016, the Worst Picture award went to right-wing documentary Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party, directed by Dinesh D’Souza and Bruce Schooley.  The premise of  Hillary’s America center’s around the following question: What if the goal of the Democratic Party is to steal the most valuable thing the world has ever produced? Over the course of the documentary , the filmmakers accuse both Clinton and the Democratic Party she represents of being linked to slavery and racism.  In his narration, director and convicted felon Dinesh D’Souza alludes to these links as evidence of Clinton’s plan to steal ‘the most valuable thing the world has ever produced:’ America.

 

one-sheet-web-res
Media credit: http://hillarysamericathemovie.com/

 

The Golden Raspberry awards, more commonly known as the Razzies, have sparked criticism from some film scholars who accuse them of turning high profile and popular, but critically panned movies like DC Comics Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice into easy targets. Batman V Superman holds a negative critical consensus score of 28% on film rating site Rotten Tomatoes, but 63% of audiences reviewed voted in favor of the film. An even greater discrepancy between critical opinion and that of the quintessential  Everyman is evident in Hillary’s America critical consensus of 4%, and the inverse audience approval rating of 81 percent. Ironically, the ‘anti-Oscars’ has drawn comparisons to the very ceremony it wishes to spoof, for determining awards on the basis of critical rather than mass appeal.

However the voting process to determine the awards is thorough, a shortlist is created by one of the founders and then voted on by 750  paying members of the Golden Raspberry Award Foundation, comprising of film critics, members of the industry and frequent film-goers.

“You’re giving it to me is because you’re very upset that Trump won. You haven’t gotten over it and you probably never will.”

Excerpt from D’ Souza’s videotaped Worst Picture acceptance speech. 

The Golden Raspberry awards, affectionately referred to by fans as ‘the Razzies’, takes it’s  irreverent name from the expression ‘to blow a raspberry,’ an action that signifies derision. Through clever marketing the Razzies has firmly cemented itself in the collective consciousness of Pop Culture. Although it is rare for celebrities to acknowledge their nominations, the previous industry heavyweights like Sandra Bullock and Halle Berry who have actually shown up in person to collect their Razzies, which appear in the form of gold spray-painted golf ball sized raspberry atop a Super 8 mm film reel are often praised by the press for not taking themselves or their craft too seriously. Incidentally Bullock was also the first person in history to win both a Razzie and an Oscar in the same weekend, for her roles in All About Steve and The Blindside respectively.

The awards system, originally intended as  an impromptu joke was founded in 1980 by UCLA film graduates John J. B. Wilson and Mo Murphy with the first ceremony being held in Wilson’s living room. Since then the awards ceremony has received increased coverage from reputable ‘serious’ news outlets such as CNN, who broadcasted the ceremony on Facebook Live this year to over 300 000 viewers. This mainstream interest in the Razzies is heightened by  its timing, as the ceremony takes place a day before the Academy Awards.

A full list of this year’s nominees and winners can be found by following this link:

https://editorial.rottentomatoes.com/article/razzie-award-2017-winners-announced/

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