The Best of the Worst in Entertainment Arts: Your Guide to the Raspberry Awards

The annual Raspberry Awards or Razzies honor the best of the worst in the film industry. See what this unusual entertainment arts awards show is all about!

Those who work in the entertainment arts field usually strive to get award nominations, such as an Oscar or Golden Globe nomination. However, some end up getting nominated for Golden Raspberry Awards, more affectionately known as the Razzies. While it’s normally an honor to get an award, the Razzies are generally considered an exception.

Image Courtesy of Razzies

Recognizing the “Best of the Worst”

What exactly are the Razzies? These awards are held in order to recognize and award the “Best of the Worst” in various categories. The Razzies got their start with an impromptu award ceremony held by publicist and UCLA film graduate John J.B. Wilson in 1981. Each year, Golden Raspberry Award Organization members cast their votes to determine who will be the nominees and award winners.

Over the years, the Razzies have usually been held before the annual Academy Awards show. Yet, the Razzies will be televised live for the first time ever this year. Nominations were announced on Feb. 7th, but the official date of the awards show hasn’t been determined yet.

Criticism in Entertainment

While the Razzies might not be thought of as serious awards, they do serve an important function in arts and entertainment. These awards highlight the importance of criticism when it comes to films and other forms of entertainment. Criticism shed light on what works and what doesn’t work, so that entertainment professionals can learn from these mistakes.

Criticism in arts and entertainment takes quite a few forms, with the Razzies being just one example. You can also find critiques of films and other kinds of entertainment in film reviews that appear in print or online. Audience ratings, online sites such as Rotten Tomatoes, film critic podcasts, and others allow professional critics and casual viewers to explore their impression of cinematic works of art.

Image Courtesy of The Emoji Movie

Recent “Best of the Worst” Winners

The Razzies have several categories representing the “Best of the Worst,” including:

  • Worst Picture
  • Worst Actor, Worst Actress, Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Supporting Actress
  • Worst Director
  • Worst Screenplay
  • Worst Screen Combo
  • Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off, or Sequel
  • Razzie Redeemer Award

A few examples of winners from recent years include:

  • The Emoji Movie in 2017 for Worst Picture
  • Fifty Shades of Grey in 2015 for Worst Picture
  • Tom Cruise from The Mummy in 2017 for Worst Actor
  • Melissa McCarthy for Worst Actress in both The Happytime Murders and Life of the Party in 2018
  • Michael Bay from Transformers: Age of Extinction in 2014 for Worst Director
  • Halle Berry from Catwoman in 2004 for Worst Actress

Critically Acclaimed “Best of the Worst” Nominees

In some cases, critically acclaimed films or performances end up being nominated or winning Razzies. This began with the first Razzies, which included critically acclaimed The Shining in a couple of categories like Worst Actress for Shelley Duvall. While it’s rare for films or actors and actresses to be nominated for both the Oscars and Razzies, this has happened at times. For example, acclaimed actress Helen Mirren, who won on Oscar for The Queen, was nominated for a Razzie in 2018 for her role in Winchester. Robert DeNiro, who has been nominated for Oscars and other awards multiple times, received a Razzie nomination in 2016 for Dirty Grandpa. In 2010, Sandra Bullock won an Oscar for The Blind Side and a Razzie’s worst-actress prize for All About Steve.

Razzies vs. Oscars

The Oscars are devoted to showcasing what the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences considers the best in many filmmaking categories. Since the Razzies focus on the “Best of the Worst,” these two award shows might seem very different. However, you can look at it as both shows expecting the best quality possible in the filmmaking industry. In that way, these shows are actually very similar.

In the field of entertainment arts, every little detail can make a huge difference in films. Although the film industry often highlights acting and directing, a movie cannot be complete without a screenplay, music, or in some cases animation and visual development. That is why awards and critiques are so important because they help artists identify areas of excellence and improvement.

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