Hello, Bloggers, welcome to another episode of Topic Of The Day. For today's topic, I will be dissecting the supposed Oscar curse and whether it exists by going into why actors that win very early on are hit with it. Here we go:
Now, the idea for this topic came from when I was reading an article on Pajiba.com about the Penny Lane Effect, which goes into the difference between being a great actor and giving a great performance. Of course, the basis for that article is Kate Hudson, who gave the performance of her career as Penny Lane in Almost Famous. She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars, yet was upset by Marcia Gay Harden for Pollock. Hudson's filmography post-Almost Famous hasn't really capitalized on her early promise, leaving a lot of us wondering whether she is a good performer who got lucky with a great performance or a great actress in desperate need of a career intervention.
So those that won very early on in their careers that struggled post-win, like Adrien Brody, Mira Sorvino, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Cuba Gooding, Jr., seemed unable to capitalize on their early promise either because they either were good actors lucky enough to land the roles that got them the gold or are great actors who haven't picked their scripts wisely. But I wouldn't say they are cursed for having won in the first place because I think when you win, a lot of momentum is based more on what projects you do next and/or whether the performances you give surpass or match the one you won for. In Hollywood, you're only as good as your last movie, critically and/or financially, and a few false moves can put you back to where you started.
This has me fearing for Eddie Redmayne, who won Best Actor at the young age of 33. He was given the role of a lifetime with Stephen Hawking, but around Oscar season, he received negative reviews for his work in Jupiter Ascending. Not only that, but some of his work pre-Theory of Everything, like My Week With Marilyn and Les Miserables, while not terrible, doesn't really measure up to his work as Stephen Hawking. So that leaves me wondering whether he is a good performer who was fortunate enough to give a great performance in the role of a lifetime or if he truly is a great actor and his earlier work hasn't built up on his talent. So I think The Danish Girl might be the apex, proving whether he can truly build upon his hype because if his work in that film matches or even surpasses his performance in The Theory of Everything, and if the upcoming Harry Potter spinoff Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them is a financial success, then he will likely blossom in the industry. If not, then he'll likely be back to where he started before his first win.
So I don't think that there is an Oscar curse that hits certain actors simply for winning. It has more to do with the actor trying to build up on their early promise, proving whether they are a great actor or gave a great performance of a lifetime way too soon. Whether you agree or disagree with my thoughts, please be sure to write your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading!