Elizabeth Berkley thanks Showgirls fans at sold-out Academy screening

Showgirls star Elizabeth Berkley helped celebrate the 1995 camp masterpiece at a sold-out screening at the Academy Museum.


One of the last movies we’d ever link to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is Showgirls. The Razzies, sure, but the Oscars? But the much-derided film is finally getting some due, with a special 35mm screening at the Academy Museum this week. Yes, it sold out.

Elizabeth Berkley – who played aspiring dancer Nomi in the 1995 movie – made a speech at the Showgirls screening, cheekily telling the audience, “So tonight I’d like to thank the Academy…Museum.” She went on to note the importance of the story that its initial audience missed, expressing her gratitude to those that have continued to support the movie nearly 30 years on. “[Showgirls] really pushed the boundaries at that time that now have been embraced — not misunderstood but truly embraced. And I’m so grateful that the film has found its way not only in your hearts but especially the LGBTQ community…You stood by the film…You always believed as did I and for that I’m eternally grateful.”

What’s most incredible is that those who have come to love Showgirls don’t necessarily watch it as a so-bad-it’s-good movie. OK, so the acting remains absolutely dreadful and plenty laughable at its lowest points, but Showgirls – for all of its campy glory – is actually an overall well-crafted movie with energetic direction from Paul Verhoeven and cinematography that bleeds neon and sequins.

And the Academy isn’t the only prestigious group to be recognizing Showgirls as of late, as The Criterion Channel featured it in their “And The Razzie Goes To…” retrospective. We don’t see Freddy Got Fingered screening at the Academy Museum! While newfound genuine appreciation for Showgirls is welcome, it will always be that Razzies darling to most. It would go on to win seven Golden Raspberries, later being named the Worst Picture of the Decade. Paul Verhoeven made awards history when he became the first person to accept his statue in person, showing that the cast and crew has always been loyal to the movie.

If you like Showgirls, I also recommend the 2019 documentary You Don’t Nomi, which does its part in putting a new light on the film.

How do you feel about Showgirls in 2024? Do you genuinely love it or is it as bad as the consensus says?

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with JoBlo.com periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.