Back to IndieWire

Which Stars Need a Comeback?

Which Stars Need a Comeback?

Everybody loves a comeback. Ben Affleck redeemed himself from “Jersey Girl” and Gigli” with “The Town” and “Argo,” while President Obama gave Democrats hope by deciding to show up for his second debate against Mitt Romney after a frustratingly muted first round. So with the fall movie season upon us, HitFix names ten likely comebacks of the fall season, among them Robert De Niro, Jamie Foxx, Barbra Streisand, Helen Hunt and Robert Zemeckis. We also name a few of our own stars needing a comeback below.

Whether De Niro’s comeback will work or not — via “Silver Linings Playbook” — is unclear, while Foxx’s, with “Django Unchained,” seems more of a sure thing. Hunt may have disappeared the last few years, but her turn in “The Sessions,” even if it does take a backseat to her co-star John Hawkes’ performance, as HitFix suggests, will remind audiences and Hollywood that she’s still on the A-list. She’s the current front-runner for best supporting actress. Streisand’s “The Guilt Trip” with Seth Rogen, however, looks painfully bad and we’re scratching our heads to think of who will buy tickets.

Who else needs a boost this season? We’ll add Leonardo DiCaprio, Keira Knightley, Halle Berry and Russell Crowe.

DiCaprio’s last film was the disappointing “J. Edgar,” and while he wasn’t the weak link, any awards potential was soon squashed by nasty reviews and a $37 million domestic box office. Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained” gives him a new, villainous role; something unexpected and refreshing after several serious turns. That “The Great Gatsby” has been pushed to May 2013 is not a good sign, but he’s also got “The Wolf of Wall Street” currently filming with Martin Scorsese.

Keira Knightley’s “Seeking A Friend for the End of the World” was a total and tonal misfire, making only $7 million (less than its budget) with rotten reviews. “Anna Karenina” puts her back in her period costume drama domain with director Joe Wright. While film is beautifully mounted, it’s no “Pride & Prejudice”; only a weak best actress field will leave room for Knightley to land her second Oscar nomination.

Berry’s last outing was “Dark Tide,” which made small change in its VOD and DVD release but is best forgotten with 0% on the Tomatometer. “Cloud Atlas,” though not a home run, is a healthy 80% Fresh and places Berry with a talented cast and directors (the Wachowskis are also on HitFix’s comeback list). In fact, this is her first Freshly reviewed film since 2007’s “Things We Lost In The Fire.”

Crowe hasn’t been on the big screen since Paul Haggis’ 2010 action-drama, “The Next Three Days,” which earned handfuls of bad reviews and failed to recoup its budget, bringing in only $21 million domestic. With his singing role as Javert in “Les Miserables,” from 2010’s Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper, Crowe is primed for a major comeback in preparation for his titular role in Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah,” which is currently filming.

One comeback is already certain: “The Master”‘s Joaquin Phoenix. But he’s made his stance on awards nonsense very clear in this Interview:

“I’m just saying that I think it’s bullshit. I think it’s total, utter bullshit, and I don’t want to be a part of it. I don’t believe in it. It’s a carrot, but it’s the worst-tasting carrot I’ve ever tasted in my whole life. I don’t want this carrot. It’s totally subjective. Pitting people against each other…It’s the stupidest thing in the whole world,” he says. “It was one of the most uncomfortable periods of my life when ‘Walk the Line’ was going through all the awards stuff and all that. I never want to have that experience again. I don’t know how to explain it—and it’s not like I’m in this place where I think I’m just above it—but I just don’t ever want to get comfortable with that part of things.”

[Hitfix, BoxOfficeMojo]

This Article is related to: Awards and tagged , , , , , , ,



I don't think that DiCaprio needs a comeback. He is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood, and only 2 years ago, "Inception" and "Shutter Island" were huge hits. Yes, "J.Edgar" was a disappointment for many critics, but it's not true that any awards potential was squashed since he still got Golden Globe and SAG nominations and certainly was close to another Oscar nom.

But yes, Russel Crowe and especially Halle Berry would need a comeback. While Berry got a Globe nom two awards seasons ago for "Frankie and Alice", that movie wasn't even ever released theatrically.


I like the article. Looking forward to most of these movies myself, although I am a little upset "The Great Gatsby" has been postponed. One question though: what's with the Obama reference? It has nothing to do with films, and the attempt at a metaphorical connection seemed forced.


I would love to see Marlene Clark or Bud Cort come back.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *