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Statuesque: The 2013 Also-Ran Awards – Spirits & Razzies

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?

17 comments

  1. I like watching the Spirit Awards. For one thing it isn’t edited so it’s like watching an adult-themed stand-up show. Samburg was pretty funny too, as he made tons of jokes about the very thing you don’t like about the Spirit Awards – like how they’re just as Hollywood as the Oscars and all that.

    • Josh Zyber
      Author

      I watched the Spirits last year, and 90% of the audience wasn’t paying any attention to the ceremony. They talked loudly through the whole event, usually drowning out the host and presenters. As I recall, Seth Rogen was the host, and he actually had some good zingers, but nobody in the audience noticed because they were too busy talking to each other or calling their agents.

  2. Mac

    Well if TDKR deserves nomination for script than your precious Skyfall too due some pretty bad plot holes and character contradictions. To be clear I like Skyfall a lot but I find funny that you complain and hate on TDKR for a lot of the same faults that Skyfall has but you conviniently overlook.

    • Josh Zyber
      Author

      The alleged “plot holes” in Skyfall were invented by haters looking for something to complain about. The movie is consistent in its own internal logic.

      The plot for Dark Knight Rises doesn’t make sense on any level.

    • William Henley

      I truthfully think both movies had major plot issues. But 2012 just had several BAD movies (as well as several good ones). But in addition to Skyfall and TDKR, I would add the new Bourne movie.

      However, I cannot disagree with any of the movies nominated. I do like that Twilight didn’t win in all the categories – when was that, about two years ago that Jack N Jill swept the Razzies? That year just wasn’t any fun.

      I’ve jsut lost just about all respect for any awards show anymore. They are almost always predictable. This years Oscars, though, after seeing the results, actually sounded like they might be getting back on track. There were some really good choices made this year. While I may not agree with all the nominations, I certainly agree with who won out of the nominations that were made in their respective categories.

  3. Mac

    Well the bad guy getting caught for no apparent reason is logical yet the TDKR doesn’t make sense? A villain that can kill M at any time but just decides to wait until the end of the movie to do it. I’m no hater and as critic that is a very narrow mindset. I guess I can say that if you disagree about TDKR you are just a hater. I bet you wouldn’t like that statement. Mind you I have problem with both films but I like both but just find it funny your inconsistent appraisal of both films.

    • Josh Zyber
      Author

      It was part of Silva’s plan to get captured so that he could be brought close to M. He didn’t have her killed earlier because he needed to publicly shame her and kill her himself in person. Silva was insane (his brain was poisoned by cyanide). His plan was never meant to be efficient or rational. He fully intended to die after he accomplished his goal, or even preferably during it.

      Was any of this “realistic”? Would it happen like this in the real world? No, but this is a movie. In terms of movie plots, this one is consistent in the logic that it lays out.

      The villains’ plans in Dark Knight Rises are not consistent. They say they want to blow up the city, but then they don’t blow up the city, instead taking it hostage for six months for no other reason than to give Bruce Wayne enough time to recover and come back to defeat them. They are not presented as insane or irrational like Silva (or the Joker in the previous movie). They’re extremists, but not psychotic, or stupid.

      We’re told that the nuclear reactor is unstable and there’s no way to predict when it will melt down, yet it has a red countdown timer ticking off to the exact second it detonates.

      Batman knows that he has to travel halfway across the world to get back to Gotham in time to save it before the bomb goes off, yet when he gets there with very little time to spare, he wastes several hours painting a stupid flaming bat symbol on a bridge that accomplishes absolutely nothing except to give the villains a heads-up that he’s back in town and they ought to do something to stop him.

      The scripting in Dark Knight Rises is totally inconsistent and lazy. It contradicts itself over and over again, and when it’s done, what the villains were even trying to accomplish in the first place is never clear at all. (They want to destroy the city. No wait, they want the people to suffer. No wait, they want to destroy the city. No wait, they’re doing all this just because they want Batman to watch the city fall apart. No wait, they want to destroy the city after all.)

      Skyfall never has this problem. The plot is laid out clearly, and it follows the rules it establishes. The two movies could not be more polar opposites.

      • Josh, the hype is still too crushing on TDKR, and you’ll just bang your head into a wall trying to get people to see how lazy the whole affair was. Remember, this was the film that got the comments section on Rotten Tomatoes shut down over the backlash against the first critic who dared to say it was bad. And that was a week before anyone had a chance to see it. It was a preordained masterpiece sight unseen.

  4. Mac

    Didn’t know insanity was an excuse for a villain acting and having a plot that didnt make sense. Well Bane’s plan was to make Gotham and bruce Wayne suffer the same way Silva wants M to suffer to just kill. Please tell me what is the difference.

    The bomb always had a timer and it could be calculated when it would go off. Lastly the bat symbol was used as inspiration which was brought home when Foley decided to fight back for the city.

    • William Henley

      The difference is that Skyfall’s plot was consistant. Yeah, I am a Skyfall hater, but the plot was way better than TDKR, which was all over the place. The issues I had with Skyfall were more from a technical standpoint – like the whole plot was written by someone who had no clue about network or systems security, advances and changes in technology or IT infuastructure over the past 20 years… No, my issue with Skyfall was not an issue with inconsistancy with the plot, my issue with Skyfall is that there were too many “Oh come on! Really?” moments. Its like they had either no consultants or completely failed to listen to their consultants advice, because it would have ment a script rewrite.

      Granted, Bond movies are usually out there and farfetched, that is part of the charm, but there is a difference between farfetched and unbelievable, which is what Skyfall was. The Bond movies would just be SO much better if they got some consultants to collaborate with them on scripts. I am good with farfetched if you have some type of good explanation for it. Skyfall did not have that – it was just farfetched to the point of unbelievability.

      But at least, as I said, the plot with Skyfall was consistant, and you could follow along. With TDKR, I was trying to figure out if there was really six months passing, or if it was just really bad editing, never really understood what the bad guy was trying to do… I spent the majority of the movie lost.

      With Bourne, it was just a week script. Basically what I got is that there is orginization A, and Orginization B exists to dispose of Orginization A, then there is an orginization C whose job it is to dispose of and cover up Orginization B, then there is an Orginization D now whose job it is to dispose of and cover up orginization C.

        • William Henley

          I was thinking about that as I was up on my soap box. It is probably why I don’t like computer hacking movies.

          Although The Matrix was probably the most-real feeling that I can think of.

          Oh, I just thought of one – The Social Network. Hands down the most realistic computer hacking movie I have ever seen.