|Actress Katie Holmes leaves the Children's Museum of the Arts in the SoHo neighborhood of New York, July 5, 2012. (Andrew Burton/REUTERS)
HOLLYWOOD, CALIF. - There has been much ink and air-time devoted to Katie Holmes' shrewd divorce-orchestrating acumen, but now the question is, can Katie apply some of that keen attention to detail to getting her once-interesting acting career back on track?
We think she can, provided that she doesn't repeat some of the ill-advised choices she's made in the past, which she can now, of course, feel free to blame on Tom.
Let's not forget that there was once a time, after Dawson's Creek and before attempting to fill Jackie Kennedy's pumps in that 2011 miniseries, that Holmes looked to have a promising big screen future.
We're referring specifically to Pieces of April, a quirky 2003 dramedy directed by Peter Hedges (Dan in Real Life and the upcoming The Odd Life of Timothy Green) in which Katie played the black sheep eldest daughter in a dysfunctional family who bravely hosts Thanksgiving dinner in her cramped Lower East Side apartment.
Holmes was terrific in the film, which boasted a crack supporting ensemble including Patricia Clarkson, Oliver Platt, Sean Hayes and old, reliable Alice Drummond as Grandma Dottie, and had its enthusiastically-received premiere at Sundance.
But rather than letting that film serve as something of a blueprint for her career, she let bigger budgets be her guide, signing on to forgettable fluff like First Daughter or getting lost in Batman Begins.
She ended up being replaced by Maggie Gyllenhaal in the sequel.
While it's unlikely she'll follow the same sort of Oscar-driven trajectory that Nicole Kidman enjoyed post-Tom (she earned her first Oscar nom in 2002--the year after the Cruise split), Holmes could still find a comfortable niche for herself back in that Pieces of April indie arena.
It's notable that, for her current screen assignment, tentatively titled Molly, Holmes plays a single mom living in New York City with her young daughter.
Are we surprised that she co-wrote and is co-producing it?
At 33 -- the same age, by the way, that Nicole was when she and Cruise separated -- Katie Holmes could well be on the road to reassembling those pieces of herself.