And the winner is…Lindsay Lohan

This column was originally published in the Central Western Daily on Tuesday 19th January 2010.

In the world of cinema, the beginning of the year also marks the start of the awards season. By the time you read this, the Golden Globes, presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA), will have been announced. Hosted this year by British funnyman Ricky Gervais, the Globes are widely considered a strong indicator for the results of the Oscars, which will follow on the 7th of March.

What most movie fans don’t realise is that the HFPA is a particularly small organisation, comprising of approximately 95 members. Journalists from publications outside of the USA who cover the motion picture industry are eligible to join, however, generally only one new member a year is admitted, as a strange rule allows any existing member the right to veto the application of a potential new member.

The Oscars, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), represent a body of over 6000 members. Membership is by invitation only, with eligibility earned via a nomination in the Oscars or submission by an existing member. All AMPAS members have made a significant contribution to the filmmaking industry and are largely from the USA but can be from anywhere in the world. This year’s Oscars ceremony, the 82nd, will be co-hosted by Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. They replace Hugh Jackman, who received generally poor reviews for his camp song and dance man act.

Whilst the average movie fan has little opportunity to influence the major film awards, there is one ceremony in Hollywood that is open to voters throughout the world. The Razzies, held at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre in Hollywood on the night before the Oscars, recognise the worst in filmmaking each year.

The Razzies and the Golden Raspberry Foundation were established by US copyrighter and publicist, John Wilson, in 1981. The first ever Golden Raspberry awards were held in Wilson’s living room alcove with 36 people voting the Village People disaster Can’t Stop The Music the worst picture of the year. The event was picked up by the press and the Razzies soon grew to become the major annual alternative awards ceremony.

In 2005, Halle Berry famously appeared in person to accept her worst actress award for Catwoman. Holding her 2001 Oscar for best actress in Monster’s Ball in one hand and her Razzie in the other, Berry proved herself a good sport with a hilarious self-deprecating speech that mimicked her emotion laden Oscars acceptance a few years earlier. A box office and critical bomb, Catwoman would also go on to win worst picture, worst screenplay and worst director.

The Golden Raspberry Award itself, costs US$4.79 each to make, and consists of a golf ball sized raspberry atop a Super 8 film reel, spray painted gold.

Last year’s Razzies were dominated by Eddie Murphy and Lindsay Lohan. The latter’s dual performance in I Know Who Killed Me won worst actress and worst screen couple, with the film also winning worst director, worst screenplay, worst remake or rip-off and worst film. Eddie Murphy’s multiple roles in Norbit earned him worst actor, worst supporting actor and worst supporting actress.

Submissions for the official Razzie nomination ballot in all categories are due very soon, with the finalists to be announced on the 1st of February. Membership is open to all, costs US$25 and is available on the Razzies website.

As a member of the Golden Raspberry Foundation, my nominations are already in and I predict that the 2009 (dis)honours are likely to be bestowed upon Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and G.I Joe: The Rise of Cobra.

Published in: on January 20, 2010 at 13:03  Leave a Comment  
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