Almost from the moment the trailer for “Cats” premiered it looked like it might be destined for the Razzies and not the Oscars despite its strong pedigree. That turned out to be true as the film is nominated nine times including Worst Picture. If Tom Hooper ends up claiming Worst Director for it, he’ll be only the third filmmaker ever to achieve an unfortunate feat: winning both an Oscar and a Razzie for directing.
The first was Michael Cimino, who won Best Director and Best Picture for the classic film “The Deer Hunter” (1978), but then made the notorious western flop “Heaven’s Gate” (1981), which won him Worst Director, though the film mercifully lost Worst Picture to “Mommie Dearest.” After that Cimino earned two more Razzie nominations for writing and directing “Year of the Dragon” (1985), but he didn’t win.
The second director to go from best to worst was Kevin Costner, who basked in the glory of Best Director and Best Picture wins for “Dances with Wolves” (1990) but then quickly became a Razzie Awards punching bag. He won Worst Director, Worst Picture and Worst Actor for the post-apocalyptic bomb “The Postman” (1997). In fact, Costner received a whopping 6 Razzies out of 16 nominations in his career, though he eventually moved off their list of favorite targets; he hasn’t been nominated by them in 18 years.
Other Razzie winners for Worst Director have been nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, like Gus Van Sant (Oscar nominee for “Good Will Hunting” and “Milk,” Razzie winner for his “Psycho” remake), Martin Brest (Oscar nominee for “Scent of a Woman,” Razzie winner for “Gigli”) and M. Night Shyamalan (Oscar nominee for “The Sixth Sense,” Razzie winner for both “Lady in the Water” and “The Last Airbender”). But none of them have won both prizes.
Hooper is actually an Oscar and an Emmy winner for Best Director. The television academy awarded him for the HBO limited series “Elizabeth I” in 2006 before the motion picture academy honored him for another royal drama, 2010’s “The King’s Speech.” He followed that with two more films that won Oscars, “Les Miserables” (2012) and “The Danish Girl” (2015), though both of those films have detractors. “Cats” is his first feature film since “Danish Girl,” and critics and audiences thought he coughed up a hairball with it.
But you never know what the future holds. Perhaps he’ll get back on track with his next film, so in a few years he might find himself up for a Razzie Redeemer Award.
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