‘Tacky new low’: Blonde leads worst film nods as Razzies include child actor among seasoned stars

Marilyn Monroe’s Blonde – a “biopic that’s not a biopic” – leads this year’s Annual Golden Raspberry Award nominations with eight, including worst film and worst director.

The Razzies organisers describe their awards as the “ugly cousin to the Oscars”, and highlight what they see as the worst films of the year, revealing the winners the day before Oscars on March 13.

Other contenders for what they describe as “cinematic mongrels” include the “oddly creepy” live action remake of Pinocchio starring Tom Hanks, Good Mourning with SNL’s Pete Davidson, the year’s “most ridiculed” movie Morbius starring Jared Leto, and The King’s Daughter.

Hanks, who’s been in the movie business for more than four decades, has made a staggering 80-plus films including Oscar-winning performances in Philadelphia and Forrest Gump.

He gets a 2023 Razzie nom for the “latex-laden, ludicrously accented” portrayal of Colonel Tom Parker in the otherwise critically acclaimed Baz Luhrmann Elvis biopic.

However, this year the satirical Razzies, which poke fun at the big stars who can handle the joke, include child actor Ryan Kiera Armstrong for her performance as a pyrokinetic child in the Stephen King adaptation Firestarter.

Armstrong is 12.

Razzies are like a ‘playground bully’

Armstrong started her acting career in 2018 in TV mini series The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair.

She has gone on to appear in 16 dramas, TV series, shorts and films and will soon star alongside Oscar-winning actor (Leaving Las Vegas) Nicolas Cage in western action thriller The Old Man.

“Actors like Hanks, Leto … are fair game – stars whose success is set in stone and are well-equipped mentally to deal with the criticism and setbacks that come with the Hollywood territory,” wrote Britain’s Independent. 

“Actors who are in on the joke – but also ones who understand how the joke works.

“For all I know, Armstrong is well-versed on the Razzies’ shtick and finds this nomination hilarious.

“Hopefully, in any case, she’s surrounded by a strong support team who can explain it to her – but how are organisers to be sure of these things?

“With this thoughtless nomination, how are the Razzies different to a playground bully picking on someone smaller than they are?

WandaVision child actor Julian Hilliard, also 12, weighed in, calling the Razzies “mean-spirited and classless”.

He demanded the Razzies “be better”.

The Independent pointed out it was “acceptable” to nominate an Oscar winner or someone with a proven track record in the industry, but to single out the performance of someone so young was not just “tacky”.

“It’s fairly reprehensible,” it wrote.

“It’s a big ask of someone so young, but it might hammer the point home that nominating a child star for a not-even-that-terrible performance strips the “joke” of its wit and has the capability of doing some damage.”

Added horror screenwriter and filmmaker Kimberley Elizabeth: “The Razzies could be fun if they did things like ‘biggest Oscar bait’ and ‘most egregious use of lens flair’ and not did things like nominating a CHILD.”

Alongside Armstrong are Bryce Dallas Howard for Jurassic Park: Dominion, Diane Keaton for Mack & Rita, Kaya Scodelario for The King’s Daughter and Alicia Silverstone for The Requin.

Why so bad?

Blonde received a Razzie nomination for worst picture, two nominations for worst supporting actors, two for worst screen couples, as well as nods for worst remake, worst director and worst screenplay.

“[Blonde] “explores” the exploitation of Marilyn Monroe … by continuing to exploit her posthumously. In addition to worst picture, it’s up for worst screenplay and worst director, both by [Australian film director] Andrew Dominik, whose work here says more about him than it does about his subject,” wrote the organisers.

Director Dominik and Netflix already have faced harsh judgment for what critics called a sexist and cruel depiction of Monroe, who was portrayed by Ana De Armas.

New York Times Film critic Manohla Dargis wrote: “Given all the indignities and horrors that Marilyn Monroe endured during her 36 years, it is a relief that she didn’t have to suffer through the vulgarities of Blonde, the latest necrophiliac entertainment to exploit her.”

Disney’s live-action remake of Pinocchio, starring Hanks, was recognised in six categories including worst picture. There’s also a third nomination for Hanks, in the worst actor category playing Geppetto.

It also got a hammering. Described as “wholly unnecessary and oddly creepy”, the live action/CGI remake of Pinocchio “pulled our voters’ strings to make it into six categories”.

Razzie organisers gave Good Mourning seven nominations, describing it as “a laugh-free stoner comedy achieving the rare feat of scoring a perfect ZERO on Rotten Tomatoes”.

Pinocchio got six nods, Morbius collected five and The King’s Daughter three.

Razzies hit ‘new low’ and often get it wrong

Film buffs were quick to point out Stanley Kubrick was nominated for a Razzie in 1981 as worst director at the 1st Golden Raspberry Awards for The Shining, starring Jack Nicholson.

It went on to become one of the classic horror flicks of all time.

Sandra Bullock won worst actress in 2009 for All About Steve and won a best actress Oscar the same year for The Blind Side.

Demi Moore, Kevin Costner and Madonna also seemed to attract Razzie attention over the years and got over it, while action movie star Sylvester Stallone hates the Razzies, having been nominated more than 20 times.

Stallone has generated huge box office receipts over his four decades of acting in such successful franchises as Rocky, he was still nominated in 2000 for worst actor of the century.

But, when Milla Jovovich spoke about all the bad reviews she received as a child actor on documentary series Showbiz Kids, she said it did affect her.

“It screws you up, you’re just becoming a teenager and this is like your first understanding of where your place is in the world.” she said.

“Organisers need to be told that punching down is not the way to go.

“Or, failing that, perhaps it’s time to burn the whole idea to the ground,” writes The Independent.

The 43rd Razzie “winners” will be unveiled  on Oscar eve, March 11

Topics: Oscars
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