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Feature: Silver bells for Golden Raspberry

By PAT NASON, UPI Hollywood Reporter   |   Jan. 24, 2005 at 7:24 PM   |   Comments

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- The Golden Raspberry Foundation is celebrating its silver anniversary with the publication of a new book about the worst Hollywood has to offer and a special round of awards dishonoring some of the most notorious nominees in 25 years of Razzie Awards history.

When this year's nominees were announced in Los Angeles Monday, "Catwoman" led the field with seven nominations -- including Worst Picture, Worst Actress (Halle Berry), Worst Director (Pitof) and Worst Screenplay. The costume drama "Alexander" was second with six Razzie nominations -- including Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Colin Farrell), Worst Director (Oliver Stone) and Worst Screenplay.

"White Chicks" and "Fahrenheit 9/11" had five nominations each, with "White Chicks" joined by "SuperBabies: Baby Geniuses 2" and "Surviving Christmas" on the list of Worst Picture nominees.

The Razzies will be presented Feb. 26 in Hollywood in a ceremony that will also feature special awards to recognize the "Worst of Our First 25 Years" -- including an award for the Worst Razzie Loser. John Wilson, who created the Razzies, said the award will dishonor an actor or actress with the highest total of Razzie nominations but no Razzie trophies for the mantel.

The nominees include Angelina Jolie -- who has seven nominations, including two this year -- and Keanu Reeves, also with seven. Ryan O'Neal, with six Razzie nominations and no "wins," is also nominated.

The all-time record for frustration on top of Razzie mortification belongs to actor-turned-California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger -- who has been nominated eight times for a Razzie but has never bagged one.

Schwarzenegger -- up for Worst Supporting Actor this time around for "Around the World in 80 Days" -- is not the only politician to get a Razzie nomination this year. President Bush was nominated for Worst Actor for "Fahrenheit 9/11" -- and the same movie earned a Worst Supporting Actress nomination for Bush's national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and a Worst Screen Couple nomination for Bush and Rice.

"We have never gone political with the Razzies before, but in this particular case we were going with what's in the film, which I think is a performance," he said.

In an interview with United Press International, Wilson rejected the notion that his annual awards are comparable to Hollywood fashion maven Mr. Blackwell's annual list of Hollywood's worst-dressed women.

"I like to think that we are to the Oscars what the Doo Dah Parade is to the Tournament of Roses," he said.

The Doo Dah Parade is an annual, irreverent send-up of the Rose Parade, celebrating the silliest ideas its marchers can come up with.

Judging by Wilson's experience, Hollywood is a bountiful font of silly ideas for movies -- and is not hesitant to make and distribute them.

"We have never lacked for choices," he said.

There were so many contenders this year, Wilson said some pictures he had considered to be slam-dunks were left off the list of nominees.

"The one thing that surprised me is that Brad Pitt and 'Troy' got shut out," he said. "Maybe the members figured 'Troy' and 'Alexander' were interchangeable."

Wilson writes about the Razzies' quarter-century of celluloid finger-pointing in "The Official Razzie Movie Guide," a brief history of the Razzies and a collection of essays about movies Wilson and the foundation's voting members found deserving of their derision -- including the first Razzie "winner" for Worst Picture, 1980's "Can't Stop the Music."

Although Ed Wood's "Plan 9 from Outer Space" is often cited as the worst movie of all time, Wilson is not about to settle on one title for that distinction.

"(Rolling Stone movie critic) Peter Travers -- who wrote the introduction to the book and is a voting member of the foundation -- said there are 100 movies that could be called the worst," said Wilson.

The nominees for the Worst Drama over the past 25 years are "Battlefield Earth" (2000); "The Lonely Lady" (1983); "Mommie Dearest" (1981); "Showgirls" (1995) and "Swept Away" (2002). The nominees for Worst Comedy are "The Adventures of Pluto Nash" (2002); "The Cat in the Hat" (2003); "Freddy Got Fingered" (2001); "Gigli" (2003); and "Leonard Part 6" (1987).

The foundation will also present a Razzie for the Worst Musical of the past 25 years. The nominees are "Can't Stop the Music"; "From Justin to Kelly" (2003); "Glitter" (2001); "Rhinestone" (1984); "Spice World" (1998); and "Xanadu" (1980).

Marketing "The Official Razzie Movie Guide" may have been somewhat complicated by the cover art, showing an actor in a gorilla costume raising his middle finger toward the camera. Wilson said he wanted the photo to go on the back cover, but Warner Books insisted on putting it on the front.

It might stand as an apt emblem of the Razzies themselves.

"We are not PC," said Wilson. "We do not pull punches. We do not pay attention to the basic rules of decorum. Hopefully the humor with which it is packaged takes a little of the sting out of it.

"If you're paying attention to what's going on in the real world you have two choices, you can laugh or you can cry," he said. "We're the Razzie Awards. We laugh."

--

(Please send comments to nationaldesk@upi.com.)

© 2005 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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