Sunday, 19 February 2017

The Oscar Curse Rather Than Blessing In Disguise: 10 Actors/Actresses Whose Careers Were Never As Great After Win

The crowning glory of achievement - or so be it, the beginning of the end of what has been years of major financial and commercial success, hard work and being an A-list Hollywood superstar.....

There are reasons why I've never been a fan of awards ceremonies - unless they are voted for by the fans themselves, they are basically by industry committee snobs who think because they work in a multi-million dollar industry they believe that actors and fans are accountable to them. That, and they assume they know better and always have better taste than us.

On the flip-side however, winning an award is a good thing: it shows your talents have been (finally) acknowledged by your peers and by those within the industry. That, and it is nice to have that golden statue on your mantle piece. For someone like Leonardo Di Caprio, who has been snubbed so many times, when he got his reward for The Reverent in 2016, it was like, 'finally he got that one award that has been eluding him for many years & one he ultimately deserved for his previous efforts'. 

In 2003, actress Marcia Gay Harden (Flubber, Mona Lisa Smile) in an interview with Premiere magazine said that winning an Oscar for her portrayal as Lee Krasner, wife of the painter, Jackson Pollack in the 2000 biographical film, Pollack was one of the worst things to happen to her career, stating:

''The Oscar is disastrous on a professional level. Suddenly the parts you're offered become smaller and the money less. There's no logic to it.'' 

The promised fame and fortune all fail to materialise; that, and the more highly established projects go to the younger peers. I've also noticed that the majority of these wins occur when an actor or actress is past 30 - 40 years of age, which happens to be when they are in the prime of their careers. & in the Hollywood film world, when you are in your early 40s or beyond, that is when roles and offers for major movies dry up.  

Whilst some will proclaim it as a myth, for me anyway, the following 10 performers for me released films, after their win, which most of them are nowhere the level of their predecessors. In other words, things were never the same- or are it as good as it was, afterwards. & looking at their filmographies, it shows.

Here are 10 actors and actresses, who for me, peaked at a particular time in their careers with their wins, but have also since starred or appeared in subsequent films and projects that are not at the same level or quality as their successful predecessors. I'm sure there are a couple more that spring to mind as well, but these for me, stick out the most.

Oscar omen jinx? For these lot, I reckon so....






Robin Williams - secured best-supporting actor in Good Will Hunting as Sean Maguire in 1998, after being snubbed for Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poets Society and The Fisher King, his win all but made up for the years of losses. However, his subsequent films have been predominately low-tier comedies such as the critically panned RV, Old Dogs and Death To Smoochy - for me the final nail in the coffin for his career - and dramas, - which have all gone to straight-to-DVD. Though he passed away in 2014, as a fan of Robin's I prefer to remember him for his success in the late 1980s up to the late 1990s, rather than the 2000s upwards. 


Julia Roberts - nabbed best actress for Erin Brockovich as the self-titled character, and what a performance it was too. Since then, her latter work has been a mixture of interesting (America's Sweethearts, Mona Lisa Smile) to the not so good (Eat Pray Love, Mirror Mirror, forgettable rom-coms). Like Robin Williams, I enjoyed her stuff from the late 1980s, as well as some of her 1990s fare & lost interest in her latter and current work. 


Mo'Nique - her win for Precious should have paved the way for more acting roles, especially dramatic ones, but it just didn't happen for her 


Adrian Brody - in 2003, he became the youngest man to win the Oscar for best actor in The Pianist and critics called him the next Al Pacino. Sadly, no sooner did that happen did he appear in flops such as Predators, a King Kong remake in 2005 and M Night Shyamalan's The Village, which received scathing reviews. 


Halle Berry - a star who made a splash in Spike Lee's Jungle Fever, impressed as the love interest for Eddie Murphy in Boomerang but back in 2002, she hit the headlines by becoming the first African-American to win best actress in Monster's Ball, alongside Denzel Washington for best actor in Training Day. Yet stints in Die Another Day, Catwoman and Gothika didn't do wonders for her career. I did, however, enjoy Cloud Atlas and The Call.  


Cuba Gooding Jr - his character catchphrase 'show me the money' became one of the most uttered phrases in 1996 as Rod in the successful Jerry Maguire. Unfortunately, this was followed up by appearances in films that have been critically panned, Pearl Harbor included, as well as turns in straight to DVD fare such as the unofficial sequel to Eddie Murphy's Daddy Day Care


Geena Davis - won Best Supporting Actress for 1988's The Accidental Tourist and she followed it up 3 years later with the memorable Thelma and Louise. By the mid-1990s, it all went downhill despite The Long Kiss Goodnight, which I enjoyed, subsequent flops in Cutthroat Island, Stuart Little and even a brief short-lived TV stint, which was cancelled after one season, sadly signalled the end. 


Catherine Zeta-Jones - But for an impressive song and dance performance in Chicago and nabbing best-supporting actress in 2003, she hasn't been in another big hit movie since. 


Charlize Theron - After winning best actress as Aileen Wuornos in 2003's biopic Monster, which was astonishing, her film work has been so-so with bombs such as Aeon Flux, Hancock and Mad Max to her turn as the evil queen in the million- dollar Snow White and the Huntsman movies


Renee Zellweger - won best-supporting actress for Cold Mountain but has been mostly known for the low- par Bridget Jones movies 

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