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Days ahead of the Academy Awards’ always-anticipated list of annual nominees comes its polar opposite: the Golden Raspberry Awards (aka the Razzies), the yearly lineup of the movies and actors who, according to organizers, seriously underwhelmed on the big screen.
The 41st annual Razzie awards just released its list of dubiously distinguished worst-of-2020 nominees, and leading the charge toward film infamy is Robert Downey Jr.’s Dolittle. RDJ’s star turn as the film’s titular, animal-whispering doctor (okay, veterinarian) scored the most nods among a crowded field of contenders, showing up in no fewer than 6 categories.
The Razzies flagged Downey’s acting performance for a worst actor nod, as well as “His Utterly Unconvincing ‘Welsh’ Accent” in the worst screen combo category (which also calls out Harrison Ford and “That Totally Fake-Looking CGI ‘Dog’ in Call of the Wild.") Dolittle also earned the unenviable honor of being nominated for worst picture, worst remake, worst screenplay, and worst director (Stephen Gaghan).
All this grief only a year after Downey graciously nipped in the bud all that Oscar talk for his tearjerking performance as Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame…what gives?! Even for an actor with two bona fide Academy Award nominations (one for 1992’s Chaplin; the other for 2008’s Tropic Thunder) to his credit, life comes at you fast.
At least Downey’s not all alone on a genre island, so to speak, among last year’s poorly-praised projects. Blumhouse’s Fantasy Island horror thriller also earned the Razzies’ scorn with worst picture, worst screenplay, and “worst remake, ripoff or sequel” nods, as well as a pair of worst supporting actress callouts for stars Lucy Hale and Maggie Q.
Despite doing big holiday business as a small-screen tentpole for HBO Max, Wonder Woman 1984 also wasn’t immune from the Razzies’ tongue-in-cheek ire. Kristen Wiig’s starring role as Cheetah didn’t scratch organizers’ itch, earning her a worst supporting actress nomination; while the movie itself ended up on that infamous “worst remake, ripoff or sequel” list.
Just to add ignominious insult to injury, the Razzies created an entirely new special dishonor this year, just to kick all 365 stinkin’ days of 2020 to the curb. “As calendar years go, 2020 was begging to be given its own Razzie Award. And so it will be!” the parody-minded organizers proclaimed. “Among the ‘honors’ bestowed at April’s 41st Annual Golden Raspberry Awards will be a Special Governors’ Trophy to The Year 2020 as ‘The Worst Calendar Year EVER!’”
Whether you agree with the Razzies’ perp walk lineup of the worst film offenders of 2020, or have quietly been keeping score with your own list of suspects, at least it’s all behind us — the year, the movies, the performances, and all the rest. Watch for this year’s big “winners” to be unveiled on Saturday, April 24 — the day before the real movie winners get their moment in the spotlight at the 93rd annual Academy Awards.