The likable, coltish actress has just won an Oscar but all anyone can talk about is hissy Jesse James gossip. So let's take a moment to discuss not her marital woes, but how she can keep the career buzz going.

An Oscar means Cred in certain circles. Now that producers can feature the "Academy Award Winner" tag above her name in movie trailers, she'll be expected to do more Serious films. And she should! But she should also do romantic comedies, at which she is very adept, and maybe try something really new.

1) Escape to New York
Where's a good place to hide out for a while until the gossip heat dies down? Well, sure, some fancy exclusive secret resort that Bullock could undoubtedly afford to stay at for a few months, but she could also hide in a theater! We've mentioned this before, but especially now that Bullock's got the gold man on her mantle, the time seems right to do a play. Lots of actors are doing it these days, to admittedly varied success, and it can go a long way to affirming an actor's raw talents. We've always thought that Bullock would make an excellent Lil' Bit in How I Learned to Drive, but the clock might be kinda running out on that one, age wise. (Though, Bullock can easily play 35. So maybe not.) If not HILTD, maybe she could make a nice, younger-than-usual Flo in Picnic. Arthur Miller is hot again after the successful View from the Bridge revival, so maybe they could age Sandy up a little bit and she could do Linda Loman. Or a new play! She could be hysterical in a snappy Douglas Carter Beane satire. We're sure Julie White wouldn't mind sitting one out.

2) Befriend an Auteur
Julia Roberts has her Steven Soderbergh, Frances McDormand (who, yeah, is a totally different class of actress, although...) is married to a Coen Brother, and Scarlett Johansson has shacked up with Woody Allen. Bullock needs one of those people in her corner so she can duck out of the mainstream frame and do a respectable indie once in a while. Why not have the marvelous Rodrigo Garcia (Nine Lives, see it) write and direct some things for her? Or she could add her name to Mike White's next masterwork of non-cloyingly quirky whimsy and get it some real money and attention. Bullock is great at that Anistonian blend of slack-haired funny/sad, and should let a true filmmaker do something great with it. Or, fuck it, she can do rapid dialogue like nobody's business, so Quentin? Want to revive a career that's already been revived?

3) Back to Hugh
Remember Two Weeks Notice? It was easily, no fooling, one of the best big-ticket romantic comedies of the '00s (though that's really not saying much), mostly because Bullock and costar Hugh Grant had such bouncy chemistry. He's fumbling and British, she's sharper and American, but they're both sort of comic flounderers. They seem to get each other far more than Ryan Reynolds got Bullock in the dreadful The Proposal or Sarah Jessica Parker got Grant in that Morgans wreck. All they need to do is find the right script and the right shiny movie director (may we suggest David Frankel?) and big box office, career-prolonging magic could be made.

We think if she takes this advice, pretty soon people will be saying "Jesse who?" And then we'll say "Jesse James." And they'll say "Oh, right. What a jerk." But at least Bullock will be too busy working to notice!

[Image via Getty]