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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

February 24, 2009 at 10:07 AM

Where’ve you been, Adrien Brody?

The Oscar night decision to have each acting award presented by a group of five previous winners (which, for the record, I liked) brought a number of familiar faces to the screen — and renewed talk of the Oscar curse. In theory, for a young actor, winning an Academy Award should be the springboard to even greater heights of achievement; in reality, sometimes some bad post-Oscar choices can cause a career to dry up.
Consider Cuba Gooding Jr., who’s turned up in a lot of terrible movies since winning for “Jerry Maguire,” or Nicole Kidman, who’s struggled to find the right role since “The Hours.”
But today Adrien Brody’s on my mind, because this afternoon I’m seeing “The Brothers Bloom,” a new comedy in which he plays a con man. Brody, all skinny intensity, was terrific in “The Pianist,” winning a surprise Oscar over such veterans as Michael Caine, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jack Nicholson and Nicolas Cage — at 29, the youngest actor to ever win the category. But soon after the Oscar, he turned up in a couple of toothless thrillers (“The Village” and “The Jacket”), hitched his wagon to Peter Jackson’s disappointing “King Kong.” Though he was the most interesting element of each of these movies, none met expectations and soon Brody seemed to have dropped off the radar. Every now and then, though, he’d pop up with a thoughtful performance, like his sly detective in “Hollywoodland.” I’m hoping “Brothers Bloom,” written and directed by Rian Johnson (who made the interesting high-school noir “Brick”) might be a bit of a comeback for him. Stay tuned.

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