Friday, August 28, 2009

The ReBirth (?) of Nicole Kidman

I'm trying not to place 2010's Rabbit Hole, the stage to screen story of a grieving family, on a pedestal of unrealistic expectations. Acclaimed plays can make brilliant movies but there are no assurances. They can be tricky beasts to cage in two dimensions. So I'm trying to lower my expectations but Nicole Kidman is not making it easy for me.

Aaron Eckhart co-stars in Rabbit Hole"The reason why I’m in the movie is
Nicole. If she wants to work with somebody, then that’s what happens"


First she offers the directorial job to the brilliant John Cameron Mitchell who I've loved since I saw him tear it up on stage as Hedwig when I first moved to New York. Now in the NY Times she brings up Birth, one of her very best, as comparison to Rabbit Hole.
When I first responded to [Rabbit Hole], it was because I read it, and it was about grief, which fascinates me,” she said. “Loss and love seem to be themes that run through my work.” This film is about “a marriage and the way that people fuse through pain, that you can either be pulled apart or you can come together. In the same way that ‘Birth,’ a film that I did, was about loss of the loved one who’s your partner in life, this is the most profound loss, and it’s the worst place to tread. And so my nature tends to be to explore something that I’m terrified of."
I love the modesty of "a film that I did"... not "a film that I killed in. I'm sometimes a genius" which is a more accurate statement, if you ask me.

25 comments:

Encore Entertainment said...

Nathaniel you are just getting even more hyped for this film. The red hair is so fantastic and Satine like on Nic - and I've been waiting for Aaron to impress me... You know what screen 2009 I can't wait for next year Shutter Island, The Rabbit Hole, Alice in Wonderland...can't wait...

Hayden said...

She was so ridiculously good in Birth. I get chills just thinking about that sustained close-up. Nicole is truly an actress unlike any other in the industry, and I'm always beside myself waiting for her next offbeat leading role. God I love her. And her hair is red again. Viva la Kidman!

dusty said...

Gosh do I pine for the early 00s when there was ALWAYS a promising Nicole Kidman on the way. Eyes Wide Shut, Moulin Rouge!, the Others, The Hours, The Human Stain, Cold Mountain, Dogville, The Stepford Wives, BIRTH. What a run!

dusty said...

Er, I mean a promising Nicole Kidman MOVIE...

Pop Culture Nerd said...

I'm so glad you brought up Birth. That movie is criminally underrated. The way Nicole internalized her grief instead of being a hot crying mess made it even more painful to watch. Remember that long shot when she's at the theater and the camera sloooowly zoomed in on her face and you could just see every emotion register on her face? Not many actors would have the guts to hold the stillness for that long. And she rocked that red pixie cut.

Can't wait for Rabbit Hole.

Derreck said...

dang it, it is too soon for me to be excited about RABBIT HOLE. i can't wait and i don't want to.

and BIRTH. i hadn't even thought about the movie and THAT SHOT for a little while. I remember first watching the movie and being uncomfortable as hell with the prolonged shot, but then as i looked at the screen, i was entranced by the different emotions just flooding through Anna and the frank boldness of the shot and with Kidman's acting. That's something you just don't see these days.

btw, here's some new stills of NINE.
from IMDB:
http://www.imdb.com/media/rm1874233600/tt0875034

and another set from another site:
http://www.purepeople.com/article/marion-cotillard-nicole-kidman-et-kate-hudson-un-show-dementiel-en-images-regardez_a38288/1/m7#scrolldown

she looks beautiful, but i don't think she'll ever look better than she did in MOULIN ROUGE.

Wayne B. said...

Wowza, the news about this movie just keeps getting more and more interesting. Kidman, Eckhart, Wiest and Oh is too much to resist.

Douglas Racso said...

Weird. I just had a dream of her. She was in project runway, I mean she was literally in it like a spy judge or something. Then she was envious of this young model kid who was snobby to her. Then I woke up. Weird stuff.

Goes to show that Nicole haunts me in my dreams. God I love her.

Guy Lodge said...

"Birth" is Kidman's finest hour for me. Hands down. And she's had many, many fine hours.

Jim T said...

Guy, I know you like Kidman a lot but collecting some data you have provided I see that:

1)You think Meryl's best performance in 2 decades is in the Hours.

2)You think Kidman is better in the Hours.

3)You think Kidman is even better in Birth.

So, you think Streep's best performance since 1990 (perhaps even before that) is less impressive than Kidman's less than best performance. You really love Nicole or you think Meryl is overrated. For what is worth, I like both of them a lot but I think Meryl is better in usually better.

Jim T said...

Obviously I mean "I think Meryl is usually better." :p

jess said...

Nat, she also confirmed she will be working on THE DANISH GIRL in the near future.

jbaker475 said...

Nathaniel, I have to thank you for posting that shot from "Birth" at the bottom of the post. I've been trying to find it because, when I saw "Birth" (rented), the scene that got me wasn't the famous "opera scene", but instead was the bathtub scene. The way that she managed to express disbelief, desire, longing, and heartbreak all in that one, unflinching look is brilliant beyond words.

DJ said...

That photo is irresistible and so tangible. I can already feel Kidman's grief oozing out. I think this will be another one of her most brilliant turns.

And the red hair! *love*

Anonymous said...

I LOVED Birth, I don't get why so many people dissed it. I'm glad she got the Golden Globe nod...

Guy Lodge said...

Jim T: Not really sure what you're driving at. I think they're both among the all-time greats. And yes, I think Streep's best work was pre-1990, while I think Kidman's work in "Birth" is a candidate for performance of the decade. Not sure what either of these opinions has to do with the other.

But this is Nathaniel's blog ... come over to InContention and we can discuss it there, if you like ;)

Anonymous said...

Rock on, Nicole.

PMj said...

Nicole Kidman is one of the greates actress alive and of all the time. Her perfomance in Birth is incredible. She's a REAL actress, she feels the artistic side of her job and she is always deeply connected with it. That's why I love her.
Thankyou Nathaniel for your post, the article is very beautifully written and gives a lot of touching quotes. Kidman deserves a total and complete high consideration, she has been very underrated and fortunally the bashing against her is ending, finally! After the very well deserved ww success of Australia people are starting again to see her as a great actress not like a simple movie star. She is one of the most talented actress in history and she loves risky choices, another good reason to appreciate her. I'm very excited to see Rabbit Hole, VERY VERY excited.
The pic with Eckhart is the end of the world, so touching and her red-hair are amazing, I really love her.
God bless Kidman!

Does anyone have news about The Rivals?

Dorian said...

That photo from "Rabbit Hole" is the best I've seen Nicole Kidman look in YEARS. Yay Nikki!

pomme said...

my fav Kidman acting is in "birth".
I love the scene in theater as some people obviously.
Happy to see again her red hair in a movie.

jess said...

You should all watch Bangkok Hilton.
She's phenomenal in it, and she was just 20 years old when shooting this Australian TV movie.

Michael said...

I'm so excited for this film too!
I absolutely adore Nicole Kidman's work - she's a TRUE star - so many actresses are 'meteors' - they shine brightly but fade quickly - Nicole's star shines bright and leaves an impression long after you've looked away from it.
I really adored 'Australia' - I know a lot of people found it very flawed, but I saw something in that film which touched my heart completely - especially Kidman's portrayal of Lady Sarah Ashley and her relationship with Nullah. It was terribly underrated, and hopefully it will get the recognition it deserves in hindsight.

Rabbit Hole looks like it's going to be an absolute cracker, as does Nine and The Danish Girl!

Ah! I adore Kidman's choices of films - the way she chooses mainstream and independent roles and launches herself fully into each one is proof that she is one of the greatest film stars this generation has known.

Pisando Fuerte said...

Aaron and Nicole will be nominated for this, and so JOHN CAMERON MITCHELL.

Victor S said...

I not just want John Cameron Mitchell to be nominated for an Oscar: I want that he attends the ceremony dressed as Hedwig.
That way we can put Björk's swan to rest in peace.

NATHANIEL R said...

victor... though it would be awesome i'm pretty sure JCM is happy to have moved on and diversified. still... i love that he will still occassionally do the songs (didn't he perform them once last year... my memory is going)