Oscar 2009: Beware of the Supporting Actress Oscar

Mighty Aphrodite

A friendly advise to gifted actresses: Beware of the Supporting Actress Oscar. It’s a jinx. You'll get the spot light for a few days, and more money for your next feature, but the coveted statuette might not do much for your career in the long run.

Over the past two decades, most of the actresses who have won the Supporting Award have either made bad films after the Oscar, or their careers never took off, or simply declined and disappeared.
 
The List is too long to recite, but a few examples will illustrate my point.
 
What ever happened to Mercedes Ruehl, winner of the 1991 Supporting Oscar for Terry Gilliam's "The Fisher King"?
 
Or to Mira Sorvino, who received the golden statuette for playing a smart hooker in Woody Allen's comedy "Mighty Aphrodite."
 
After winning the 1997 Supporting Oscar for "L.A. Confidential," Kim Basinger has made mostly films, which turned out to be flops for one reason or another, such as "I Dreamed of Africa" and this year's "The Burning Plain."
 
Take Jennifer Connelly, winner of the 2001 Supporting Oscar for "A Beautiful Mind," who followed with roles in Ang Lee's disappointing comic strip "The Incredible Hulk" and the terrible remake of "The Day the Earth Stood Still." Currently, Connelly can be seen (with companion Paul Bettany) in "Creation," as Charles Darwin's devout wife, but I doubt if many people would see the picture in movie houses.
 
Catherine Zeta-Jones, winner of the 2002 Supporting Oscar for "Chicago," is now on Broadway, appearing in the revival of Sondheim's masterpiece, "A Little Night Music."
 
Speaking of musical, the verdict is still open for Jennifer Holliday ("Dreamgirls") but three years after her win, her record is not all that impressive. 
 
Please do not mention Cate Blanchet as an example. Though her only Oscar to date is in the supporting category, as Katharine Hepburn in Scorseses's biopic "Aviator," she is a leading lady who chooses projects according to interest and challenge, not size of role. So far, Blanchet has been nominated six times, twice in the lead (for "Elizabeth" and its sequel) and three secondary parts.