Tom Hanks picks up two Razzies for 'deliciously awful' performance in Elvis

Blonde was voted Worst Picture and organisers gave themselves an award for the first time

Tom Hanks was ridiculed for the amount of latex and questionable accent during his performance in Elvis. Photo: Warner Bros Pictures
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He may be a two-time Oscar winner, but even Tom Hanks cannot escape the wrath of the Razzies.

The parody prizes, which recognise the worst films and performances each year and are announced on the day before the Academy Awards, have declared Hanks's role as Elvis Presley's manager in rock 'n' roll biopic Elvis as the year’s most pitiful performance by a supporting actor.

Hanks’s turn as Colonel Tom Parker was dubbed “deliciously awful”, and also earned him a second award. Described as “a creepy beady-eyed lech peering out from under a mountain of latex”, Hanks (and his latex-laden face and ludicrous accent) also picked up top honours in the Worst Screen Combo category.

He was, at least, spared the Worst Actor award, despite being nominated for his role as Geppetto in Disney's live-action Pinocchio. That honour went to Razzie-regular Jared Leto in the Spider-Man spin-off Morbius.

Elvis has been widely praised and nominated for eight Oscars at this Sunday's 95th annual Academy Awards, with its star Austin Butler currently a frontrunner in the Best Actor category. However, Hanks’s turn as Parker was panned by many critics, who viewed his casting as the film's biggest flaw.

For the first time in the Razzies' 43-year history, the organisers also gave themselves an award. Having initially nominated Ryan Kiera Armstrong, at the time just 12 years old, in the Worst Actress category for her role in last year's remake of Firestarter, the Razzies came under considerable criticism themselves.

“After their blunder of nominating someone who should not have been considered, the organisation was put through the cyberworld blender,” organisers acknowledged. “They publicly apologised to the actress, changed the rules for anyone under 18, rescinded the nomination and put themselves in her place on the ballot — which won by a landslide.”

This is not the first time the Razzies have courted controversy. Last year, a new category labelled Worst Performance by Bruce Willis in a 2021 Movie was jokingly created to accommodate all of the star's questionable output. But it was quickly retracted after Willis’s family revealed that he is suffering from a cognitive illness that doctors now say is dementia.

Blonde, the fictionalised account of actress Marilyn Monroe’s life, was resolutely condemned, picking up the Razzie for 2022’s Worst Screenplay and Worst Picture. The Andrew Dominik-directed film was described as "deplorable, misogynistic and exploitative”.

It wasn’t all bad news, however. A Razzie Redeemer award was granted to Colin Farrell, noting how far the Irish actor has come from his role in Alexander the Great, to his performance in the Irish film The Banshees of Inisherin, which has received nine Oscar nominations, including Farell’s first for Best Actor.

The Razzies, widely recognised as Hollywood’s leading celebration of all things awful in cinema, were founded by John Wilson, an industry publicist. Wilson recalled in a 2005 interview with South Florida’s Sun-Sentinel how the germ of the Razzies came to him while driving home from a double-bill screening of The Village People movie Can’t Stop the Music and the Olivia Newton-John and Gene Kelly-starred Xanadu in 1980. “Those two movies ought to get awards for being that lousy,” he thought.

Wilson put his idea to the test when, at his annual Oscars night party at home in Los Angeles, he closed the evening by inviting his guests to cast ballots on their least-favourite films of the year in a makeshift living room ceremony. The event was a success and an impromptu press release was picked up by local media. Things snowballed from there.

Highlights of the Razzies’ 43-year history include Halle Berry showing up at the 2005 ceremony at Hollywood’s Ivar Theatre to collect her Worst Actress Award for Catwoman. She had her Monster’s Ball (2001) Oscar in hand.

Paul Verhoeven (Worst Movie — Showgirls) and Sandra Bullock are also notable Razzie attendees. But not everyone has been such a good sport. Sylvester Stallone is one of the Razzies' most frequent targets, with 18 nominations in total. The Rambo actor has never confirmed that it was him, but “someone who sounded like him” left a far-from-pleased message on Wilson’s answerphone after the 2000 nomination for Worst Actor of the 1990s.

Updated: March 11, 2023, 12:08 PM