Raspberry time for Hollywood's worst

Every year, on the eve of the Oscars ceremony, the Golden Raspberry - or Razzie - awards are made for the worst films of the previous year, and 2002 has provided no shortage of candidates.

This is nominations week in the film world with the Oscars shortlist being announced tomorrow. The nominations that only masochists want to receive are out today, with the director Guy Ritchie and his wife, Madonna, both in line for the award of the dreaded Golden Raspberry.

Every year, on the eve of the Oscars ceremony, the Golden Raspberry - or Razzie - awards are made for the worst films of the previous year, and 2002 has provided no shortage of candidates.

High on this morning's list is Swept Away, directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Madonna and Adriano Giannini, who are nominated respectively for worst director of the worst film, worst actress and worst actor.

Also competing for the worst film Razzie, in the 23rd year of the awards, is Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, which could sum up a year which featured many dud sequels. The Eddie Murphy film, The Adventures of Pluto Nash, which received a critical mauling, is also nominated, as are Pinocchio, starring Roberto Benigni, and the Britney Spears vehicle, Crossroads.

Challenging Madonna for the actress Razzie are Jennifer Lopez for her roles in Maid in Manhattan and Enough; Britney Spears for her screen debut in Crossroads; and Wynona Ryder in Mr Deeds in which she co-starred with Adam Sandler. Angelina Jolie is also nominated for Life or Something Like It.

In the actors' Razzie category, Murphy in Pluto Nash faces competition from Benigni for Pinocchio, Giannini for Swept Away, Steven Seagal in Half Past Dead and Sandler for Eight Crazy Nights and Mr Deeds.

The nomination of Benigni raises the intriguing possibility that, if Nicole Kidman wins for her portrayal of Virginia Woolf in The Hours, there would be victories for two actors with enhanced noses.

The supporting categories have Robin Williams (Death to Smoochy), Hayden Christensen (Star Wars), Tom Green (Stealing Harvard), Freddie Prinze Jr (Scooby Doo) and Christopher Walken (The Country Bears) nominated.

The equivalent categories for actresses has Madonna in the Bond film, Die Another Day, Bo Derek in The Master of Disguise, Lara Flynn Boyle in Men in Black II, Natalie Portman in Star Wars and Rebecca Ramijn-Stamos in Rollerball.

There is a new Razzies award this year - most flatulent teen-targeted movie - which is likely to be a fierce fight between Eight Crazy Nights, XXX, Crossroads, Jackass: The Movie and Scooby Doo.

Nominees may take comfort from the fact that some of them, Benigni, for instance, have already won Oscars for their work and that some of the films listed, such as Star Wars and Mr Deeds did good box office business.

On the more serious front of the Oscars, there was speculation yesterday as to whether Roman Polanski would win nominations for his Holocaust film, The Pianist.

Polanski is still wanted in the US for having sex with a minor, fleeing the country before sentence. There are no moves to allow him to re-enter the country if he is nominated. The 13-year-old with whom he had sex when he was 43 is now a married woman living in Hawaii and has said that she does not want to see Polanski behind bars.

A spokeswoman for the district attorney's office said Polanski was still a "fugitive from justice" and would be treated as such. The nominations list will indicate whether the criminal charges have dissuaded some Academy voters from nominating him.


Duncan Campbell in Los Angeles

The GuardianTramp

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