5. Marlee Matlin
The only deaf person to win an acting Oscar, for her debut role in Children of a Lesser God, Marlee Matlin was bound to encounter some difficulties with her career, but she has proven again and again that she’s not a talent to be sidelined.
She clocked a good performance in a supporting role in AIDS drama It’s My Party, plus stints in TV series Picket Fences, The West Wing, The L Word and Switched at Birth, her most recent gig. Still, it would be cool to see her get a big role on the movie side again.
Currently she’s filming Silent Voice, a Blair Underwood-directed growing up story, and will have a role in Silent Knights, about a football coach who goes to work in a school for the deaf after an accident.
4. Adrien Brody
Another great actor with awful taste in movies (Wes Anderson collaborations aside), Adrien Brody has had few great roles since his well-deserved Oscar win for The Pianist. Rian Johnson’s The Brothers Bloom, Tony Kaye’s Detachment come to mind, and even biopic miniseries Houdini, which earned him an Emmy nomination, come to mind. Still, he needs to be in better films, which take advantage of his intense energy onscreen.
Sadly, his only upcoming project is a Belgian thriller in which he plays Emperor Charles V of Rome, under the direction of Lee Tamahori, director of such distinct action pastiches as xXx: State of the Union and Next.
3. Marisa Tomei
While her Oscar win for My Cousin Vinny might raise some eyebrows still, it’s impossible to deny that Marisa Tomei is one hell of a talented actress. Maybe because she’s not a blue-eyed blonde, she never was truly appreciated in Hollywood, even after stunning performances in films like In the Bedroom, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead and The Wrestler. Nowadays, she has a steady job as Aunt May in the new Spider-Man films, and not much else on the horizon, which is a shame.
Maybe Joshua Leonard’s Behold My Heart, a drama about a mother’s relationship with her son after the strike of tragedy, can bring her back to the Academy’s attention. It certainly seems like the kind of down-to-earth, earnest character she likes to play.
2. Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage’s problem is that he seems to honestly enjoy making bad films. There’s been so many of them since his Oscar win for Leaving Las Vegas, in 1996, that it’s easier to count the good ones, which include Spike Jonze’s Adaptation, Ridley Scott’s Matchstick Men, Andrew Niccol’s Lord of War, and even Gore Verbinski’s The Weather Man. Cage’s predilection for B-movie fare makes things difficult, but he’s actually great with slightly off-kilter characters, and Hollywood apparently haven’t noticed that yet.
Sadly, nothing in his future projects seems to indicate a return to form – they’re mostly sci-fi or horror thrillers with clichéd premises and inexperienced directors/writers. We’ll never lose hope, but awaiting greatness from Cage again might be a futile effort.
1. Halle Berry
Halle Berry’s case is probably the most egregious of all. Once a promising actress who played Dorothy Dandridge to perfection on a TV film and then went on to win an Oscar for Marc Forster’s depressing drama Monster’s Ball, she then went on to star in Pitof’s travesty of a Catwoman standalone film, and never quite recovered from there.
Traces of her talent are scattered through her only two decent roles since, in Susanne Bier’s Things We Lost in the Fire and Geoffrey Sax’s Frank & Alice, which earned her a Golden Globe nod.
She’ll soon be seen as part of a foster family thrown into the chaos of the Rodney King riots in South Central in the 90s in Daniz Gamze’s Kings. If that’ll be her comeback role, finally, remains to be seen – at 50-years-old, it’s high time she starts making better choices.
Author Bio: Caio Coletti is a Brazilian-born journalist, a proud poptimist, and has too many opinions to keep them all to himself.