Winning an Oscar doesn't immediately make a Hollywood career. It's not a sudden yellow-brick road to critically beloved superstardom. Aside from the many who seem to fade into an oblivion of bad choices (see Halle Berry), there's the whole challenge of timing. Each winner has prior commitments and pre-win productions that screen after the little gold man heads home with them.
We're already trying to reconcile the fact that Natalie Portman, Oscar winner, is also Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher's latest romcom beloved in 'No Strings Attached.' But what about the films to come? What's next on the pike for each of the four Oscar winners this year? Melissa Leo, Christian Bale, Colin Firth and Portman herself?
As the LA Times notes, "this year's Academy Award winners won't necessarily be in Oscar mode when they next pop up on a movie screen." What's to come is a mixture of heavy drama, laughs and ultra geek fare.
Just see for yourself:
After stunning people with her 'Fighter' performance and Oscars f-bomb, Leo has got two fun features on the way. She's one of the cult guntoters in Kevin Smith's 'Red State,' which he's self-distributing in October, and the golf dramedy 'Seven Days in Utopia,' which also stars Robert Duvall.
She's also got three indies slowly making their way to the screen -- 'Lost Revolution,' 'Francine' and 'The Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best,' plus work on Todd Haynes' television series 'Mildred Pierce.'
Always one to mix the heavily dramatic with the pulp fun, Bale has two key roles gearing up. He's currently filming 'The 13 Women of Nanjing,' which will have him play an American priest in China, helping to shelter women from invading Japanese soldiers during World War II. Once he's done, however, it's back to the Bat Cave for 'The Dark Knight Rises.'
Having brought a stutter to Oscar-winning proportions, Firth is also partaking in a mixture of period pieces and levity. First up is a massive wallop of Brit talent as he co-stars with Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Mark Strong, Christian McKay and more in 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.' Firth plays a British intelligence officer suspected to be a Russian mole. He also just recently signed onto the Coen Brothers' latest remake, 'Gambit.'
Though she's now the Oscar-winning powerhouse behind 'Black Swan,' Portman's upcoming roster doesn't seem all that different from her past pursuits. She gets to play Isabel in the stoner comedy, 'Your Highness,' she's got a supporting role in the indie drama 'Hesher' and she's the love interest of a larger-than-life man in 'Thor.' Portman's also about to have her first child, so this could be the last work we see from the actress for a while.