Despite the shocking moments and historical wins, the 94th Academy Award show was the second-smallest Oscar audience in history and a bit of a bore. The award show has not only become predictable, but the members of the Academy have fallen short of their mission to celebrate the art of filmmaking

While there is nothing inherently wrong with the Academy’s choice to recognize specific films that fall outside of the average moviegoer’s list of best movies of 2021, the overwhelming feeling of dismissal of non-Oscar films from the members of the Academy is hard to not notice. 

For a show dedicated to celebrating achievements in filmmaking, they do not hesitate to neglect essential elements of filmmaking in favor of showcasing celebrities and the categories that the average viewer wants to see. 

While winning an Oscar is a massive achievement for anyone, it does not celebrate filmmaking. Instead, Oscars celebrate the artistic and technical merit of good films—while another award show highlights the under-achievements in filmmaking as a way to hold the entertainment industry responsible for its failures. 

The_razzie_awardThe Razzie Award is a golden spray painted raspberry placed on top of a Super 8 film reel.Credit: The Razzie

Held the night before the Academy Awards, the Razzies encourage well-known filmmakers and performers “to own their bad.” It takes a lot to make a good movie, but it also takes a lot to make a bad movie, and the Razzies is a platform for filmmakers, performers, and movie watchers to point out the major flaws in the entertainment industry. 

The Razzies are a necessary evil that allows 1,100 members from 19 countries to vote for the shortlist of films that challenge what the Academy Awards try to dismiss. The Razzies reflect the popular culture’s ideals and attitudes toward films, giving members a chance to reflect on the poor choices made by a film's production team with the intention that these faults can be avoided for future projects. 

But the Razzies are not always about calling out the bad movies of the year. In 2014, the Razzie Redeemer Award was introduced to praise past Razzie Award nominees or winners who have come back and become Oscar darlings after their critical or commercial failure. In an award show dedicated to "bad" films, the redeemer award is considered a genuine honor. 

If the Oscars are for the elite members of Hollywood, then the Razzies are for us—the ones who are okay with admitting when we've failed. We counterbalance the Oscars’ bloated acts of self-righteousness as we mock Hollywood for thinking that they know what the people want.

Yes, Space Jam has a nostalgic place in many young adults’ hearts and is recognized as a bad movie, but Warner Bros. just wanted to make money by recreating the first film with Space Jam: A New Legacy with modern faces. Lebron James won in his category. Yes, we have an obsession with Princess Diana and loved the nostalgic dreamscape of Spencer, but Diana: the Musical obliterates the line of respect without having any redeeming qualities to justify the exploitation. The Netflix release of the Broadway show got the most Razzies this year.

We also get a moment to call out our desire to consume specific stories or genres with the Razzies’ special categories that change every year. This year, Bruce Willis was honored with his category: Worst Performance by Bruce Willis in a 2021 movie. Eight of his 12 films were nominated, which is telling about our acceptance of barely passable performances by an 80s action star in a geezer teaser

The Razzies allow for a moment of self-reflection for everyone involved with these films, while the Academy pats itself on the back for creating stunning films with powerful stories, but maybe not always connecting with mass audiences. Instead of letting them live in a small crawl space in a public bathroom, bad movies get a moment to shine and live on as examples of what not to do. 

If you ever find yourself nominated for a Razzie, then at least you didn't make something boring and forgettable. Have pride in making a feature-length film, and realize where the shortcomings were so you don’t make those mistakes again. 

Let us know your thoughts on the Razzies in the comments below, and share with us your favorite Razzie-winning movie!