In a decidedly contentious turn of events, Oscar-winning actor Jennifer Lawrence has been nominated for a Razzie Award, singling out her performance in Darren Arnofsky's Mother! (casting: Lindsay Graham) as one of this year's so-called "worst." The Razzie Awards released its annual nominations of not-outstanding cinematic contenders Monday, Jan. 22. And, upon taking note of Lawrence's "Worst Actress" nomination, the internet has made its collective disagreement very clear. Immediately following the nomination lineup's release, fans of Lawrence's work vigorously took to Twitter, criticizing what many people considered an unwarranted knock to the usually-acclaimed actor's talents onscreen.
Lawrence's "Worst Actress" nod was just one of three Razzie nominations doled out Mother!, which is arguably less surprising, given the film's dismal box office performance as well as its controversial critical response. In addition to Lawrence's nomination for "Worst Actress," the Razzie Awards also tapped Javier Bardem (who also stars in mother! as Lawrence's male counterpart; the "God" to her "Mother Earth," let's say) with a nomination for "Worst Supporting Actor," as well as Darren Arnofsky for "Worst Director."
The divisive psychological thriller — which put a twisted (and, some argued, unreasonably violent) spin on the story of "creation," as well as a medley of other biblical allegories grotesquely turned on their heads — topped the Razzie nominations list alongside a handful of 2017's critical blunders, the likes of which include Fifty Shades Darker, Transformers: The Last Knight, The Emoji Movie and Baywatch. Needless to say, once news of Lawrence's "worst" designation reached the cyber airwaves, people were quick to defend her performance and condemn the Razzie decision.
Most Twitter users who spoke up about Lawrence's Razzie nomination acknowledged the inherently problematic thematic elements that Mother! brings to the table. Still, they argued, those aspects of Mother! that detract from the film's credibility (and/or entertainment value) as a whole don't necessarily have any bearing on Lawrence's performance as the film's title character. (For anyone who has yet to see the film: Lawrence's character in Mother! is quite literally just called "Ma," which probably mostly serves to reinforce the widespread critique of the movie's sexist overtones.)
Their reactions make a pretty solid point. Because, Mother! reaped loads of critical backlash from disturbed viewers and media outlets alike, many reviews (even those that really slammed the movie) made sure to note that the film's grave narrative missteps were no fault of Lawrence's. She even gleaned a bit of praise for her acting job, though much of it was couched in some kind of caveat along the lines of "still, there wasn't a whole lot she could do to make this film less upsetting."
In addition to sticking up for Lawrence's talents, some upset Twitter users also took the opportunity to decry the Razzie Awards in general, citing infamous Razzie blunders from years past.
For those unfamiliar with the annual turn of Hollywood-centric mockery of the Golden Raspberry Awards ("Razzies" for short), here's a crash course: Now careening into its 38th year, the Razzies are a series of "mock" awards intended to denote the "worst in film" (sort of like an entertainment-industry equivalent to The Onion). Each year, the Razzies make a point to release its nomination lineup — as well as its eventual list of "winners" (though that term seems to invoke an entirely different meaning in this context) — the day before the Academy is due to release theirs. And, in keeping with its usual timeline, the Razzie nominations dropped just about 24 hours before 2018's registrar of Oscar darlings is meant to do the same. (This year's Oscar nominations are slated for a highly-anticipated unveiling on Tuesday, Jan. 23.)
It's unclear who will reign victorious during this year's round of Razzies. But, come March 3 (the day the Razzie "winners" will be announced), Lawrence could be adding a very different kind of accolade to her awards collection.