If you think the Oscar battle for best actress is going to be close, wait until you see who's duking it out for the dubious honor of being named the year's worst actress: Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, Winona Ryder, and Angelina Jolie. The nominations for the Golden Raspberry, or Razzie, awards for 2002's worst films, actors, and actresses were announced on Monday, a day ahead of Oscar nominations, and this year the worst actress category seems to be swept away by a high-profile who's who of talent, beauty, and bad luck.
Competing for worst picture are critical flops that include Eddie Murphy's $85 million down-the-toilet action film, The Adventures of Pluto Nash; Madonna's spoiled-wife epic, Swept Away; Spears's wooden screen debut, Crossroads; and Oscar winner Roberto Benigni's wooden remake of Pinocchio. Add to the mix George Lucas's latest entry in what Razzie organizers call a series from a galaxy far, far too long: Star Wars: Episode II--Attack of the Clones.
In filmdom's main event, the Academy Awards, the fight for best actress is expected to be particularly tough this year, with nominations expected for Meryl Streep, Renee Zellweger, Nicole Kidman, and Julianne Moore. The Razzies also are going to be a close fight but in a far worse way. Spears is nominated for Crossroads, Madonna for Swept Away, Jolie for the box office bomb Life or Something Like It, Ryder for Mr. Deeds, and Lopez, who has a shot with two films, Enough and Maid in Manhattan. Now that may be a fight that many a film fan would say was too close to call.
Murphy in Pluto Nash leads the list for worst actor, followed by Benigni for Pinocchio, Adriano Giannini for Swept Away, Steven Seagal in Half Past Dead, and previous worst actor winner Adam Sandler with a chance to win for two films, Eight Crazy Nights and Mr. Deeds. In the worst supporting actor category, it's a fight between Hayden Christensen in the latest Star Wars, Tom Green for Stealing Harvard, Freddie Prinze Jr. for Scooby-Doo, Christopher Walken for The Country Bears, and Robin Williams in Death to Smoochy. Up for worst supporting actress are Lara Flynn Boyle for Men in Black II, Bo Derek for Master of Disguise, Madonna for her blink-of-an-eye appearance in Die Another Day, Natalie Portman in Star Wars, and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Rollerball.
The Razzies are ushering in a new category to mark its 23rd annual awards--"Most Flatulent Teen-Targeted Movie"--and the nominees are: Eight Crazy Nights, Crossroads, Jackass: The Movie, Scooby-Doo, and XXX. Nominees for worst screen couple were Adriano Giannini and Madonna in Swept Away; Roberto Benigni and Nicoletta Braschi in Pinocchio; Hayden Christensen and Natalie Portman in Star Wars; Eddie Murphy paired with either Robert De Niro in Showtime, Owen Wilson in I Spy, or himself cloned in Pluto Nash; and Britney Spears and Anson Mount in Crossroads. The battle for worst director came down to Benigni for Pinocchio; Tamra Davis for Crossroads; George Lucas for Star Wars; Madonna's husband, Guy Ritchie, for Swept Away; and Ron Underwood for The Adventures of Pluto Nash.
The Razzies are handed out on March 22 or, as the organizers like to say, "24 hours before that other awards show, a.k.a. 'The Giving-Out of the Little Gold Naked Men.'"