Statuesque: The 2015 Spirit & Razzie Awards

Though you undoubtedly had little reason to notice, the Oscars actually weren’t the only movie awards handed out over the weekend. As per tradition, the Independent Spirit Awards and the Razzies both continued to demonstrate their ever-growing irrelevance.

Independent Spirit Awards

Originally intended as a celebration of the small indie films that other award ceremonies overlooked or ignored, in recent years the Spirits have steadily devolved into the Oscars’ me-too little brother, routinely nominating and rewarding the same group of movies that Oscar does. That problem is perhaps worse than ever this year, when the Spirit winners look like a virtual clone of the Oscar results.

  • Best Feature: ‘Birdman’
  • Best Director: Richard Linklater, ‘Boyhood’
  • Best Male Lead: Michael Keaton, ‘Birdman’
  • Best Female Lead: Julianne Moore, ‘Still Alice’
  • Best Supporting Male: J.K. Simmons, ‘Whiplash’
  • Best Supporting Actress: Patricia Arquette, ‘Boyhood’
  • Best Screenplay: ‘Nightcrawler’
  • Best Cinematography: ‘Birdman’
  • Best Editing: ‘Whiplash’
  • Best Documentary: ‘CitizenFour’
  • Best International Film: ‘Ida’

Four of the five movies nominated for Best Feature at the Sprits were also nominated in the comparable Best Picture Oscar category (the only outlier being the gay marriage dramedy ‘Love Is Strange’), and both gave the top prize to ‘Birdman’. Even in the few categories where the two shows diverged, such as Best Director and Best Male Lead, the Spirit winners were strong contenders at the Oscars and could just as easily have won there as well.

The main point of divergence between the two was the Best Screenplay award for ‘Nightcawler’. Although nominated for the same Oscar, it was never really in play for that trophy.

Razzie Awards

Our blogger Shannon used to be a Razzie voter. He wrote a post a few weeks ago exposing what a farce the Razzie voting process is, with all of the nomination selections chosen by just one man who typically has a clear agenda to direct the voting into his own pre-determined direction (if the voting even matters at all).

This year, for example, it’s pretty obvious that the Razzies had a high-larious theme of giving the major acting awards to people named Cameron. Ha ha ha. What a hoot and a half.

Too bad James Cameron didn’t direct a movie last year, amirite? Well, no, actually, the Razzies would never have the balls to go after someone as powerful as James Cameron. Candace Cameron or Camryn Manheim, though? I’m surprised the Razzies didn’t start giving out awards to TV just to make this stupid joke work.

  • Worst Picture: ‘Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas’
  • Worst Director: Michael Bay, ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’
  • Worst Actor: Kirk Cameron, ‘Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas’
  • Worst Actress: Cameron Diaz, ‘The Other Woman’ & ‘Sex Tape’
  • Worst Supporting Actor: Kelsey Grammer, ‘Expendables 3’, ‘Legends of Oz’, ‘Think Like a Man Too’ & ‘Transformers: Age of Extinction’
  • Worst Supporting Actress: Megan Fox, ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’
  • Worst Screenplay: ‘Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas’
  • Worst Screen Combo: Kirk Cameron & His Ego, ‘Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas’
  • Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel: ‘Annie’

I have not seen ‘Saving Christmas’. I have no intention of ever seeing ‘Saving Christmas’. I have no doubt that it’s a terrible movie. It’s also an exceedingly easy and safe target to take pot-shots at. Frankly, I find it highly dubious that enough people really saw ‘Saving Christmas’, or even knew that it existed at all, to vote it to “wins” in so many categories.

I have seen ‘Sex Tape’, which aired on HBO recently. Although it’s certainly not a very good movie, there’s nothing particularly wrong with Cameron Diaz’s performance in it. Ditto for Megan Fox in ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’. Kelsey Grammer may have appeared in a bunch of bad movies last year, but was he really the worst part of any of them? I doubt it. What a crock.

For the complete list of winners for each ceremony, see the official Spirit Awards web site and Razzie Awards web site.

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