HILARY SWANK, RED DUST COMEBACK KID?
Could this be the year Hilary Swank transcends the Oscar curse? Five years ago, the 25-year-old unknown swept into town with the sleeper hit, Boys Don't Cry. Until then, Swank's claim to fame had been a recurring role on Beverly Hills, 90210. But her touching portrayal of Teena Brandon, a Nebraska woman who was raped and murdered for posing as a man, blew away the critics and earned her an Academy Award.
Since then, Swank's had trouble overcoming her status as a one-hit wonder. Does anyone remember her successive films -- The Core, say, or The Affair of the Necklace?
Justice to her career might yet be served with Red Dust. The intense thriller, set during South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation hearings, is described by those who have seen it as "a monumental achievement" and "infinitely more moving and passionate than a typical courtroom drama." Swank plays a human-rights lawyer whose life is changed by an investigation into allegations against a police officer.