Now that it’s August, the worst movie month of the year, it’s time to get serious about the Razzies, people.
Worst Actress is traditionally the most difficult Razzie category to predict, because the performances are the most widely varied. Will nominations go to Oscar nominees slumming it (as when Diane Keaton was nominated for 2007’s Because I Said So)? Or will it go to the forgettable female “lead” in an action movie (as in Megan Fox’s nominations the past two years, for Jonah Hex and Transformers 2)? Or will a single nomination go to a whole group of ladies (the casts of Sex and the City 2, The Women, and Bratz: The Movie) in a manner that doesn’t at all suggest that the Razzies find all women and movies about women interchangeable and icky?
Who can say?!?!
So these predictions represent our best guesses as to which lovely ladies might get that blessed phone call from their agent come January 23 — the phone call that begins, “Don’t fire me, but ”
The Bottom Five
How sure do I feel about these picks? Not at all! Except for Adam Sandler, who’s a lock. But they’re listed here in order of how not-unconfident I am.
Adam Sandler, Jack & Jill
Still the woman to beat in this category.
Kristen Stewart, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1
Stewart isn’t the shoo-in you might expect; last year’s nomination for Eclipse was her first. Will the Razzies shower Twilight with love?
Miley Cyrus, LOL
We know basically nothing about this movie, only that it is scheduled to be released in 2011. But Cyrus has been nommed two years in a row, and this title makes me ROTFLMAO.
Natalie Portman, Your Highness, Thor, and No Strings Attached
Could Portman be nominated just one year removed from winning the Oscar? If Razzie voters view their ballots as a chance to punish her for choosing such crappy post-Oscar movies, then yes.
Evangeline Lilly, Real Steel
Her years of experience on Lost suggest that Lilly might — just might! — be out-emoted by boxing robots.
These fine actresses are waiting patiently for their chance to push the front-runners down the stairs, just like in Showgirls.
Cameron Diaz, Bad Teacher
A perfectly adequate comedic performance of the type that seems to get Razzie voters all het up. (See also: What Happens in Vegas.)
Rosie Huntington-Whitely, Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Her chances depend on whether Razzie administrators will also credit her with votes for “Megan Fox,” “Not Megan Fox,” and “Rosie Huntington-Whitely’s Shoe Continuity.”
Taylor Schilling, Atlas Shrugged: Part I
Did you see it? Me neither! Don't you kind of hate it anyway? Me too!
Julia Roberts, Larry Crowne
Believe it or not, Roberts was nominated before, for 1996’s Mary Reilly — which also happens to be the last time a wide-release movie in which she starred made less than $40 million.
Emma Stone, Viola Davis, Bryce Dallas Howard, Octavia Spencer, and Allison Janney, The Help
Sure, the movie's based on a best-selling, well-reviewed book, and all these actresses are great, and Frank Bruni likes it, but you never know with the Razzies! Put a bunch of vagina-having people in a movie, and sometimes they all get nominated by accident.
The Wild Cards
Olivia Wilde, Cowboys & Aliens
Jennifer Aniston, Just Go With It and Horrible Bosses
Katie Holmes, Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark and Jack & Jill
Leighton Meester and Minka Kelly, The Roommate
Christina Ricci, Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star
New This "Weak"
Sometimes, you know, movies just surprise you. That’s why we love this crazy business! If you’d asked us a week ago which of tomorrow’s wide releases had the highest Razzie hopes, we would have bet the farm on Rise of the Planet of the Apes. After all, The Change-Up features two reliably great comedic actors (Jason Bateman, Leslie Mann) and one reliably outstanding torso (Ryan Reynolds), while Apes features apes. (And James Franco, sure.)
But had we truly bet the farm on the excrescence of Apes, we would no longer have a farm! It turns out that Rise of the Planet of the Apes is, most critics think, enjoyable, well-made, and exciting — what a total bummer. Luckily, The Change-Up features a scene in which a baby literally shits in Jason Bateman’s mouth, so I’m gonna go ahead and call it a player come Razzie time.
On the "Bore"-izon
Is it too early to talk about the 2012 Razzies? Absolutely not! Not now that Battleship has Pearl Harbored its way into the conversation with a truly hilarious trailer that features everything a Razzie movie should have: Dudes! Boobs! Surfers! Guns! Boats! Rihanna in camo! Alien spaceships floating off the coast of Hawaii! And of course a big-name actor — “international superstar Liam Neeson,” in the words of Battleship’s ad copy — paychecking his way through the movie as a gruff, no-nonsense, take-no-prisoners, brook-no-dissent, leave-no-hyphenated-expression-unused commander.
Battleship! You sunk my 2012 Razzies!
See you next week, Razzielovers.
Dan Kois is a longtime Razzie guru and the author of Yasmine Bleeth: America's Forgotten Razzie Sweetheart.