Oscar winners' most embarrassing performances

Categories: Film and TV

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Last night, Hollywood engaged in its yearly back-pat, bestowing little gold statues on those who brought the greatest dignity to the big screen last year. Amidst all that pomp and circumstance, it can be easy to forget that, as amazing as Natalie Portman was in Black Swan, she was also the leaden queen of the ill-advised Star Wars prequels. More career missteps below.

Colin Firth in St Trinian's 2: The Legend of Fritton's Gold
The girls of St. Trinian's school are back, and this time there's pirate treasure at stake! Hijinks, dumb blonde jokes and exposed legs ensue, and Colin Firth is somehow a bombshell. This is England, we suppose. Ray Bennett of the Hollywood Reporter calls it, "Strident, clumsy and pointless."

Natalie Portman in Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace
Behold as young love blossoms between a little kid and a woman old enough to be, at the very least, his babysitter. But it's not the age gap that worries us -- no, that would be the disaster that is all three of these movies, and the painful-emo relationship that develops between a humorless Natalie Portman and barely-clinging-to-a-career Hayden Christensen.

Melissa Leo in The Alphabet Killer
Melissa Leo's done a ton of b-list horror movie roles, but none are more spectacularly clumsy than The Alphabet Killer. Don't worry about a logical conclusion -- just mash together a creepy, dead little girl, a pretty face getting progressively closer to getting killed and a loose tie to actual events, and you've got a smash hit no one will remember in a year.

Christian Bale in Terminator: Salvation
When you are the star of a movie considered less heartfelt and human than the ones starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, that is an incredible achievement in ineptitude. The thing is, Christian Bale did this just two years ago, after it was apparent that he was a ridiculously good actor. Why on earth did he think this movie would work?

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Geez Kiernan, could you possibly be a more negative writer and person? NO actor, director, writer, DP, producer, editor, can make a film great EVERY single time a movie is made. It's a crap shoot and to BLAME the actors is down right mean and juvenile in every way. It shows you do not understand at all how a movie even gets made, let alone have the BEST of everyone in it or working on it. It also shows you have no real knowledge of the film industry either. Of course, there's always the "budget" involved which will eventually affect everything in the film. Actually what your article proves is that an actor/actress can be good in one film and terrible in another and WHY should this concern fans who go see movies to see their favorite? It will NOT. You are spouting your opinion which has not been researched enough to make it even believable. As the director of Star Wars, George Lucas signed contracts with his actors that they would play it as HE wished, not as they wished...period. There was an article in Rolling Stones where they interviewed Lucas and he told them that Hayden Christensen did NOT want to play his character so juvenile or whinny or sullen, and George's answer was, "read your contract". In other words, you WILL play it MY way...and they ALL did. So stop bashing these actors for something over which they had no creative control whatsoever. They did these films to be SEEN by a wider and international audience, they did their job. Any actor wants to gain "fans" because those fans will not abandon them with the films they make. They enjoy the actor/actress and want to see their favorite in whatever film they make. Go take a course in film-making and gain some much needed knowledge on the subject.


I'm with you and a word about Hayden Christensen. I have a lot of respect for Hayden Christensen being a professional and doing Star Wars the way Lucas wanted him to do it. He has integrity. I don't have a whole lot of respect for bloggers and critics who won't let go of their Star Wars bias (read vendetta) and have actively lobbied against someone's career with their jabs in the media. I would be really interested to find out what Christensen can really do if given the chance. He seems to me to have a lot of charm and a noticeable presense on screen.


My sentiments exactly, I loved the way you worded it! Hayden has more raw machizmo and talent on screen than any actor I have seen for eons. He showed it at 18 when he was in Higher Ground. If you watch that series, he's just GOT it, it's part of who he is, what's more I believe it cannot be denied. He has been very wise as to who he has worked with and how he has constructed his career so far. It's been brilliant, I think. He could have taken every doggone role offered to him and made a whole lot more money but he hasn't he still wants to weigh the role to see if it's right for him. I totally respect that. If you look at Ewan McGregor he's made some 29 films since star wars and Portman has made 25 but Hayden has only made those movies that he feels is right for him (about 12-14). He's an amazing actor and human being, When I saw how he reacted to the children in Canada (Sick Kids Foundation) and the funds he raised, I knew he was real. He will be my fav for the next 30-40 years regardless!

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