February 29, 2012
In the unpredictable world of movie release dates and awards season, it sometimes happens that an actor gives a great performance, dominating awards shows with triumph after triumph, then follows up their Oscar victory with an appearance in a very different kind of movie. Last year, at the same time Natalie Portman was hefting her pregnant belly up onto a succession of stages to accept endless awards for Black Swan, there she was lasciviously buttoning a dress shirt at Ashton Kutcher on the posters for No Strings Attached. I can still hear her perky, nasal voice chirping "I think monogamy goes against our basic biology!" in the trailer, which perhaps didn't project the image of an accomplished thespian she may have wanted to cultivate while campaigning for her Oscar.
This year, immediately after winning the Oscar and pretty much every single other major award for The Artist, Jean Dujardin appeared in ads for his next movie, which is called Les Infideles in French, cutely translated to "The Players". Dujardin wasn't exactly marketed as a serious dramatic actor here in the US, but there's still a sizable gap between the image of the charming, dapper Valentino-esque silent film star and a dude about to nail some faceless woman who, in keeping with the movie's title, is not his wife. Dujardin created the movie, and co-wrote and co-directed--the guy can do anything.
Check out the next poster in the ad series, representing another emphatic step down from the gravitas of "Academy Award™ Winner" (though I just realized this is actually his co-star, Gilles Lellouche):
(Would a poster this vulgarly funny fly in America? Probably not.)
Nods also to Philip Seymour Hoffman for following up Capote with Mission Impossible III (though I'll acknowledge he was the best thing about the movie) and Halle Berry as a Bond girl in the worst James Bond movie ever after Monster's Ball.
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