At this year’s Academy Awards, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renée Zellweger will reunite with the rest of the “Chicago” cast to present an Oscar. Zeta-Jones won an Oscar for 2002’s “Chicago,” while Zellweger picked one up the following year for “Cold Mountain.”
Why, then, have they — and other Oscar winners, especially women — had such a difficult road after their crowning moments?
Zeta-Jones is beginning a comeback of sorts with roles in thrillers like “Broken City” and “Side Effects,” after being in the wilderness for years, appearing in direct-to-video efforts (to be fair, she also won a Tony for stage work in “A Little Night Music”); Zellweger’s last theatrically released film, “Case 39,” came out in 2010. And they’re not alone. Any Oscar obsessive can name actresses whose careers did not, in the long term, benefit from the academy’s love: Mira Sorvino (who found it hard to live up to early promise), Halle Berry (who’s been cashing in with movies like “Catwoman” and “New Year’s Eve” for more than a decade now), and Gwyneth Paltrow (who, prior to her weepy speech upon winning an Oscar, was a beloved starlet — hard to recall now!).