While the world turned its eyes to the Oscars this past weekend, a couple of the film industry’s alternative awards ceremonies – the Spirits and Razzies – also pressed on, even though no one pays any attention to them anymore. Honestly, I forgot all about them until just now.
As originally conceived, the Independent Spirit Awards were intended to recognize the type of niche art films that higher-profile award ceremonies (and audiences in general) usually ignore. In recent years, however, the Spirits have devolved into a celebration of mainstream movies that have also been nominated for (though are perhaps less likely to win) Oscars. This year, for example, David O. Russell’s ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ swept the Best Feature, Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best Female Lead prizes. The film was produced by The Weinstein Company (a mini-major studio that stretches the definition of “independent”), was also nominated for eight Oscars, and has grossed over $120 million at the box office so far. That’s independent spirit for you!
Other big Spirit winners this year include ‘The Sessions’ for Best Male Lead and Best Supporting Female (Helen Hunt was likewise nominated in the comparable Oscar category), Michael Haneke’s ‘Amour’ for Best International Film (which also won its comparable Oscar) and ‘Magic Mike’ for Best Supporting Male (Matthew McConaughey). The latter Steven Soderbergh film was distributed by Warner Bros. (not its specialty Warner Independent label, but the big W itself), which should have automatically disqualified it from Sprit eligibility if the Spirits still had any integrity.
Andy Samberg hosted the event. I didn’t watch, so I don’t know how well he did. In years past, the presenters used to make up silly songs about the nominated films, but I believe that tradition was discontinued a few years ago, along with any notable celebrities bothering to show up.
The full list of nominees and winners can be found on the official Spirit Awards web site.
Next, we have the misbegotten Golden Raspberry Awards, which are supposed to deflate Hollywood’s ego by dishonoring the worst dreck that crawled out onto cinema screens. Last year, the Razzie committee made a foolhardy decision to delay the awards until April Fool’s Day, long after anyone stopped caring about movie awards. This year, the announcements returned to their traditional spot the day before the Oscars.
As is usually the case, the Razzie voters focused their efforts at taking pot shots at easy targets. ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2’ was the year’s biggest loser, scoring Razzies for Worst Picture, Worst Director, Worst Actress, Worst Supporting Actor, Worst Screen Ensemble and Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel. Perennial Razzie punching bag Adam Sandler also took a prize for Worst Actor in ‘That’s My Boy’.
Bleeding Cool has the rest of the losers and nominees.
Once again, the Razzies declined to make any even remotely controversial nominations. How did ‘Prometheus’ not sweep these things? Where’s the Worst Screenplay nomination for ‘The Dark Knight Rises’?
Full disclosure: One of our contributors to this blog is a Razzie voter. Perhaps he can shed some light on the selection process?