From left, Kirsten Dunst, Amy Adams and Denise Richards, cast...

From left, Kirsten Dunst, Amy Adams and Denise Richards, cast members in the ensemble comedy "Drop Dead Gorgeous," pose together at the film's premiere on Monday, July 12, 1999 at The Egyptian Theater in Hollywood, Calif. The film follows a small town's obsession with its teenage beauty contest. Credit: AP

According to the old Hollywood adage, you're only as good as your last picture. Fortunately for this year's best actor and actress Oscar nominees, the following films weren't their last movies, although they're quite possibly their most forgettable.


CHRISTIAN BALE, "Newsies" (1992) Speaking in a New York accent that Newsday critic Jack Mathews found "as pleasing to the ear as a death threat," Bale sang, danced and organized an 1899 newsboys strike in this Disney disaster.

BRUCE DERN, "Won Ton Ton: The Dog Who Saved Hollywood" (1976) Dern had it "ruff" with this dog about 1920s Hollywood in which a German shepherd modeled after Rin Tin Tin chewed the scenery.

LEONARDO DICAPRIO, "Critters 3" (1991) DiCaprio's career could only go up after his film debut in this creature feature about alien furballs who wreak more havoc than an earthquake on an L.A. apartment complex.

CHIWETEL EJIOFOR, "Three Blind Mice" (2003) Call it "Rear Microsoft Windows." Techie Edward Furlong witnesses a girl's murder via webcam and turns to a fellow nerd (Ejiofor) and a lady cop to solve the case. They also take time to go Rollerblading.

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY, "Tiptoes" (2003) Starring in a dwarf romcom was certainly a tall order for McConaughey, who played the only normal-size person in a family of little people.


AMY ADAMS, "Drop Dead Gorgeous" (1996) Adams played a ditsy cheerleader in this mockumentary that aspired to be a beauty-pageant version of "Heathers." The results weren't pretty.

CATE BLANCHETT AND JUDI DENCH, "The Shipping News" (2001) The "News" wasn't good for either actress, both of whom got stuck in this muddled film version of Annie Proulx's bestseller about life in a Newfoundland fishing village.

SANDRA BULLOCK, "Fire on the Amazon" (1993) Bullock's career wasn't up to "Speed" yet when she made this South American fiasco that included a nude scene in which she and co-star Craig Sheffer make jungle love to the strains of pan-flute music.

MERYL STREEP, "She-Devil" (1989) The devil must have made Streep do this infernal comedy, which strained credibility by imagining that her romance novelist character would dally with accountant Ed Begley Jr. A bigger stretch was imagining Begley married to Roseanne Barr.

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