There's a school of thought that says it's not right to place works of art in competition with one another. That's why George C. Scott refused his Oscar. That's why Joaquin Phoenix didn't want to campaign last year. That's why Dustin Hoffman did all this when he won for Kramer vs. Kramer. On the other hand ... we've already gone to the trouble of cobbling together nominees across 24 categories, so why not just be honest and say which one is the worst of the whole bunch.
It's almost a disappointment to say that Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa is the worst nominated film of the year, because it seems like such an easy target. It would be so much more fun to size up a big, bloated prestige wannabe and nail it for pandering to awards voters. (And I still have nine movies to go, so maybe The Book Thief has a shot.) The thing is, Bad Grandpa is just as pandering, only it's pandering to different people. But there's certainly nothing fresh or challenging in the warmed-over, half-focused Jackass-brand comedy. Horny seniors, take-my-wife-please jokes, even a ripoff of Little Miss Sunshine isn't too tired a premise for Johnny Knoxville and company to warm over. The Knoxville-in-old-man-makeup was never my favorite genre of Jackass to begin with, and dragging it out to feature length is disastrous. Even more disastrous is the decision to try to turn Bad Grandpa into a narrative film, bouncing from one barely credible scenario to another, keeping the whole movie suspended in a no-man's-land where the rubes seem too fake (who are these people attending the funeral of a fictional woman???) and the characters don't seem fake enough. It fails on its own terms even beyond being juvenile and hackneyed. It's a lose-lose!