The Golden Raspberry awards, known colloquially as the Razzies, celebrate the worst film performances of the year, and serve as the spiritual opposite to the Oscars. Yet today (15 March), Close’s generally maligned work in Hillbilly Elegy managed to score a Best Supporting Actress nod at the Oscars – just three days after it earned a Razzie nomination.
Hillbilly Elegy, which is adapted from a bestselling autobiographical novel by JD Vance, casts Close as an eccentric grandmother named Mamaw, who helps raise the young JD (Owen Asztalos) when his mother (Amy Adams) descends into addiction.
Close received a Worst Supporting Actress nomination at this year’s Razzies, which were announced on Friday (12 March). She competes for the dubious honour against Kristen Wiig for Wonder Woman 1984, Maggie Q and Lucy Hale for Fantasy Island, and Maddie Ziegler for Music.
At the Oscars, she’s in competition with a slightly better-reviewed list of performances: Olivia Colman in The Father, Yuh-Jung Youn in Minari, Amanda Seyfried in Mank and Maria Bakalova in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm.
Close’s conundrum is the first of its kind since 1984, when Amy Irving received both an Oscar nod and a Razzie nod for her work in Yentl. More commonly, actors can be nominated in the same year at both awards shows for different film performances. Sandra Bullock notoriously won Worst Actress for All About Steve in 2010, and days later won Best Actress at the Oscars for The Blind Side. Bullock graciously collected her Razzie in-person.
While Hillbilly Elegy received almost universally poor reviews, Close’s performance was met with more mixed notices.
The Independent described her acting as a collection of “coughs, spits, and waddles”, while The Guardian mocked Close’s “overripe overacting”. The New York Times remarked that the film “traps [Close] in a sticky web of piety and sincerity”, while Entertainment Weekly said Close’s work is “a parody of gumption with no humanity underneath”.
Read more: The 2021 Razzie nominations are in
Variety, meanwhile, gently praised Close’s work as “quite meticulous” if “uglied up for [her] Oscar close-up”.
The 2021 Razzies will be held on 24 April, with the Oscars taking place two days later.
Read the full Oscar nominations line-up here.
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