Travel back with me through time just nine years hence. Renée Zellweger was on top of the world: A list career, consecutive Oscar attention, hit movies, red carpet superstardom. She was so ubiquitous that she became the arch-enemy of The Film Experience only ever referred to as She Who Must Not Be Named™. By the time Hilary Swank had robbed her of the Most Hated title round these parts, she seemed depleted of everything else as well. In the past few years I've begun to feel bad for her and the way the public can suddenly turn on actors they once rushed out to see (see also: Meg Ryan). I now affectionally call her The Zeéeeee in remembrance of the five happy years we spent together (1996-2001).
While there's no such thing as an Oscar curse, Oscar wins quite often, and maybe quite naturally, mark the peak of an actor's career. Whether snagging showbiz's ultimate prize depletes the ambition you need to survive Hollywood, whether Oscar winners feel crushing pressure to prove they deserved their win and stiffen up, whether personal problems derail a career just as it seems to be perfect, whether a well earned vacation turns into a "we didn't miss you" extended hiatus ... well, who can say, really, but many stars fumble immediately after being crowned king or queen of Tinseltown for a year.
Recent movement in Zeéeeee's camp suggests she's ready for her career's second (third?) act now. She'll make her directorial debut with a film called 4 ½ Minutes which will star Johnny Knoxville as a struggling comedian. He is hired to babysit the Zeéeeees son and hijinx ensue. She's also lining up her Broadway debut in an adaptation of The Hustler, presumably in the Piper Laurie role. (Poor Piper! Leave her signature alones, people) Both projects are being scripted by Anthony Tambakis who wrote the screenplay to the fighting brothers drama Warrior. Some reports say that Tambakis is also co-writing a television series with the actress called Cinammon Girl to air on Lifetime. They must have hit it off.
Do you think this career can be saved? If so what would it take.