Golden Broom Awards, China’s Razzies, announces ‘winners,’ film mimicking Western fantasy genre among ‘most disappointing’
Published: Jul 28, 2022 08:31 PM
Promotional material for Chinese film Another Me Photo:Courtesy of Douban

Promotional material for Chinese film Another Me Photo:Courtesy of Douban

The 13th Golden Broom Awards, China's version of the Golden Raspberry Awards or Razzies, were held during the 13th Annual Youth Film Handbook Gala in Beijing on Wednesday. 

The 2022 awards handed out statuettes for most disappointing film, screenwriter, director, actor and actress. Performers Chang Yuan and Ma Li from the popular Chinese comedy group Mahua FunAge were respectively awarded Worst Actor and Worst Actress for their roles in the film Another Me, which its screenwriter Gao Ke and Yang Xiaoming won a nomination for worst screenwriter. 

According to the judging panel's remarks, Another Me had a rigid story, cheap laughs and little meaning. Its theme was also a remake of an old story. The film has a 4.3 out of 10 on Chinese media review platform Douban, with the top-rated comment reading: "Don't waste money on it." 

The Curse of Turandot, a star-studded fantasy movie featuring international stars such as Sophie Marceau, won Worst Film, while its director Zheng Xiaolong, a prestigious TV drama director who worked on Empresses in the Palace, won Worst Director. 

Before the film debuted in October 2021, it was highly anticipated by many fans due to its heavyweight cast that including China's talented yet distinctive director Jiang Wen and international celebrities like Marceau and Dylan Sprouse, as well as hot Chinese actress Guan Xiaotong. 

Inspired by Turandot, one of the top 10 operas in the world, the film merely managed to earn 18.89 million yuan ($2.8 million) at the Chinese mainland box office and a 3.1/10 on Douban. 

"With such prestigious director and good actors, a 'major bug' in the story or storytelling technique must have been behind the poor box-office performance."

"Also, there may have been something that offended the audience or made them feel disconnected to their culture," Xiao Sujun, a TV and film expert, told the Global Times.

The judges described the film as a "so-called Asian fantasy masterpiece" that lacked meticulous logic and featured an "old and stupid plot." Another major criticism was that the film had a strong Western perspective that was not connected to Chinese culture. 

"It tries to mimic Western fantasy films, but ends up drawing a dog instead of a tiger," the panel wrote.  

The awards have become a hot topic earning more than 160 million views on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo. Many netizens posted comments saying that such poor productions reflect the issues of many Chinese mainland films, which include "a lack of originality," "mimicking Western styles" and "presenting shallow content to try to please everyone." 

"Some Chinese comedy films in particular are full of exaggerated performances and cheap laughs. They think audiences will buy it as those performers act that way on TV variety shows, but they are wrong. It is supposed to be movie!" Li Xiaoxiao, a comedy film fan told the Global Times. 

"If they really want to bring Western elements into productions, they need to learn how to tell stories, but not try to cheat us with colorful visual elements. Remember also that Chinese audiences do not like every single film tagged 'Hollywood' or 'Disney,'" wrote one netizen on Sina Weibo.    

While the Golden Broom Awards can be seen as focusing on the negative, many insiders do not see it as mocking the industry but rather encouraging it. 

However, given the rather sour nature of the awards, the event also held a ceremony to award the Top Ten Chinese Movies of 2021, which included sci-fi comedy Journey to the West and Drifting by China's Hong Kong director Jun Li.

Many of the top 10 films come from young directors, who have unique and earnest perspectives on filmmaking and original stories to tell.