Can you be the best and the worst at the same time? It’s a question we’ve found ourselves asking in light of the release of the 2021 Academy Award nominations, and those of the satirical sister awards, the Golden Raspberries, which celebrate the “worst of cinematic under-achievements.”
It’s no secret that art is subjective. Even the world’s top film critics often share differing views on what works, and what doesn’t. However, the ability to polarize opinion to these extremes is a rarity, even in Hollywood.
So, is it possible to be the best and the worst at the same time? If these industry awards are anything to go by—yes! Here is a look at the talented lot who have managed to score nominations for both Oscars and Razzie’s in the same year:
To date, only three people have won both Razzies and Oscars in the same weekend. All won for two different pieces of work in the same year.
Best known for his work on Disney movies, Menken is the composer, songwriter, record producer, conductor and music director behind many of your favourite Disney soundtracks. If you’re familiar with The Little Mermaid (1989), Pocahontas (1995), Little Shop of Horrors (1986), Hercules (1997), Enchanted (2007) or Tangled (2010), chances are that you’ve heard plenty of his work.
Menken is no stranger to industry awards, having won over fifty. In 1993, Menken picked up two of his eight Academy Awards—Best Original Score for Aladdin (1992) and Best Original Song for ‘A Whole New World.’ That very weekend, Menken also picked up the Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song for ‘High Times, Hard Times’ from Newsies (1992). While he didn’t attend the awards ceremony, Menken has formally accepted his Razzie and proudly displays it—framed by five Grammys—in his award cabinet.
Helgeland is best known as a screenwriter, but has also found success in film production and direction. In 1998, he triumphed at the Academy Awards, picking up the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for writing the crime blockbuster L.A. Confidential (1997). Just hours prior, he had also won the Worst Screenplay Razzie for writing action-adventure film The Postman (1997).
Helgeland accepted his Razzie, though not in person, to remind him of the “the quixotic nature of Hollywood.” When presented with his award at his office in Warner Bros. Studios, he read a pre-prepared speech in which he noted the “humility, penance and above all, the sense of humor” that the award represented.
One of only five people to have accepted her Razzie in person, Bullock demonstrated her fantastic sense of humor by bringing and handing out DVD copies of All About Steve (2009), the film she was nominated for. Upon winning the Worst Actress award, Bullock quipped “I think this is an extraordinary award. I didn’t realize that, in Hollywood, all you had to do was say you’d show up, and then you’d get the award. If I’d known that, I would have said I was appearing at the Oscars a long time ago.” She also picked up the Razzie for Worst Screen Couple for the film, alongside Bradley Cooper.
A surprising amount of work has been nominated for both a Razzie and an Oscar, but failed to win one or both of the awards. Here are a few of the highlights:
The most nominated film at the last Academy Award ceremony, Joker scored eleven nominations including Best Picture, Best Director & Best Adapted Screenplay. From those eleven, it won two – Best Actor for leading man Joaquin Phoenix, and Best Original Score.
The film earned a Razzie nomination in a special category – Worst Reckless Disregard for Human Life and Public Property. In a tough section featuring the likes of Hellboy (2019), The Haunting of Sharon Tate (2019) and Dragged Across Concrete (2018), it ultimately lost out on the Raspberry to the fifth film in the Rambo series, Rambo: Last Blood (2019).
The nomination made Joker the second film in history to have been nominated for a Best Picture Oscar and a Razzie, the other film being The Godfather Part III (1990).
“I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith
In the field of Best and Worst Original Song, there have been only three songs to have earned nominations in both categories. Trisha Yearwood’s “How Do I Live” from Con Air (1997), Tony Bennett’s “Life in a Looking Glass” from That’s Life! (1986), and the Aerosmith classic.
Featured on the soundtrack to science fiction film Armageddon (1998), “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” has stood the test of time and is still being played at weddings around the world.
Nevertheless, it failed to win both the Oscar and the Razzie it was nominated for. It was beaten to the Academy Award by “When You Believe” from The Prince of Egypt (1998), while “I Wanna Be Mike Ovitz!” by Magic Kingdom from An Alan Smithee Film Burn Hollywood Burn (1997) scooped the Razzie.
Oscars and Razzie’s: Ones to Watch in 2021
Who do you think has what it takes to be the worst of the worst this year? Here are the favorites and underdogs to win the 2021 Razzie for Worst Actor, Worst Actress, and Worst Film—Odds provided via Bovada.
41st Annual Razzie Awards: Worst Actor Odds
|Mike Lindell, Absolute Proof||-220|
|Robert Downey Jr., Dolittle||+250|
|Michele Morrone, 365 Days||+1200|
|Adam Sandler, Hubie Halloween||+1600|
|David Spade, The Wrong Missy||+2000|
41st Annual Razzie Awards: Worst Actress Odds
|Kate Hudson, Music||-180|
|Anna-Maria Sieklucka, 365 Days||+300|
|Kate Holmes, Brahms: The Boy ll / The Secret: Dare to Dream)||+800|
|Anne Hathaway, The Last Thing He Wanted/The Witches||+1000|
|Lauren Lapkus, The Wrong Missy||+1600|
41st Annual Razzie Awards: Worst Film
This year, Close earned her eighth Oscar nomination for playing Bonnie “Mamaw” Vance in Hillbilly Elegy. The film at large received mostly negative reviews, with critics panning the stereotypical depiction of poverty in the South. Despite the film’s flop, Close’s performance garnered rave reviews and has earned more than ten award nominations including nods for a Golden Globe and a SAG Award.
Despite the acclaim, not everyone views her portrayal as a good one. In fact, this year Close became the third actor to have been nominated for both an Oscar and a Golden Raspberry for the same performance. She joined James Coco who earned their nominations for Only When I Laugh (1981), and Amy Irving for Yentl (1983).
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020)
Keep an eye on the nominations for the Borat sequel (along with Glenn Close’s double nomination), aptly titled Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (2020). It’s been nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for Maria Bakalova.
It’s also picked up two Razzie nominations this year—Bakalova has been nominated alongside former Trump lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, for Worst Screen Combo, and Giuliani himself has been nominated for Worst Supporting Actor.
The 41st Razzie Awards take place on Saturday 24th April and the 93rd Academy Awards take place on Sunday 25th. In the meantime, check out our guide to betting on the Oscars.