Don’t call it a come­back

From Os­car to Razzie to Os­car again: who is the king of the movie come­back?

Esquire (Singapore) - - Special Feature - MaHB / Film by Fin Carew


AC­CENT INSCRUTA BIL­ITY The Os­cars just hap­pened and I think we can all agree that my new cat­e­gory rec­om­men­da­tion, “Most Con­sis­tent Crit­i­cal Ha­rangue”, be­ing left out this year de­prived me of my well-earned vic­tory. I wasn’t the only one snubbed, of course. The Academy didn’t take heed of their pre­vi­ous mis­take and failed to award The Lego Movie an apolo­getic Os­car for “Most Awe­some Movie, OMG We’re So Sorry For Last Year, You Guys, For Realsies”.

The Os­cars are the ul­ti­mate awards for ex­cel­lence in film, and while their re­li­a­bil­ity has come into ques­tion con­sis­tently (#Os­carsSoWhite), this hasn’t dented their rep­u­ta­tion. Mean­while, the Razz­ies have con­sis­tently kept up since the ’80s by draw­ing at­ten­tion to those who de­serve the wooden spoon of movie awards.

Al­though the Razz­ies aren’t es­pe­cially re­li­able ei­ther (in 1980, Stan­ley Kubrick was nom­i­nated for Worst Di­rec­tor for The Shin­ing), it’s fun to see garbage get ac­knowl­edged as well. For the artist, it should be taken as a chal­lenge or con­struc­tive crit­i­cism. Two ac­tors who haven’t learned from their mis­takes were nom­i­nated for both a Razzie and an Os­car this year: Ed­die Red­mayne ( Jupiter As­cend­ing and The Dan­ish Girl) and Rooney Mara ( Pan and Carol). Not just ac­tors ei­ther, as Si­mon Kin­berg got an Os­car nom­i­na­tion for The Mar­tian and a Razzie nom­i­na­tion for his Fan­tas­tic Four screen­play.

But what about those who rose back up from our con­strict­ing, con­ceited pub­lic per­cep­tion? Those whom we may even have for­got­ten that we once dis­liked? Does any­one re­mem­ber Tom Hardy as Shin­zon in Star Trek: Neme­sis? No, be­cause sta­tis­ti­cally you’ve never heard of it, but he was in it and wasn’t well re­ceived. It’s dif­fi­cult to re­mem­ber what he did be­fore Bane; that’s how much re­spect he now com­mands.

Some­times, your come­back is about fig­ur­ing out that you suck at your art be­fore dis­cov­er­ing your true tal­ent. Take Sofia Cop­pola, nom­i­nated for two Worst Sup­port­ing Ac­tress Razz­ies for The God­fa­ther Part 3 and Star Wars: Episode 1. Since then, she’s won an Os­car for her screen­play, Lost in Trans­la­tion. This come­back was less about how high she ended up, and more about how far she had to climb.

How­ever, the ac­tor whose up-and-down ca­reer is of most in­ter­est is Ben Af­fleck. Those of you who still bother with movies from the ’90s will re­mem­ber Good Will Hunt­ing as the one that got Af­fleck his first Os­car. Then, be­tween 1997 and 2009, he was nom­i­nated for eight Razz­ies, two of which he won. Out of nowhere, he was nom­i­nated for a Golden Globe for Hol­ly­wood­land, and then, as if he’d found his tal­ent in an old box un­der his bed, came Argo. Win­ning at the Academy Awards, the BAF­TAs, the Golden Globes and the Screen Ac­tors Guild Awards, Af­fleck proved just how a come­back is sup­posed to work. The Razz­ies even went so far as to recog­nise him with the first “Razzie Re­deemer Award” in 2015. Move over Stal­lone, Downey Jr. and Bald­win (Alec); this is how you do a come­back.

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