Thursday, June 24, 2010

"Do I miscalculate?"


"Well, then. Is something detaining you?"

[Great Moments in Screen Bitchery #609, Nicole Kidman in The Hours]

Can you think of anything more exhilarating than a trip to London?
*

39 comments:

Andrew R. said...

Unfortunately, her prosthetic nose was the scene stealer.

Volvagia said...

Yeah, that nose...yikes! Can someone please say: Razzie Award for Makeup.

badmotherfucker said...

That prosthetic nose really was the worst thing that ever happened to her. It feels like she's been subconsciously apologizing for it ever since she won the Oscar -- I call it the Grace Kelly effect.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this the point at which the public began to outright despise her. I think it had something to do with the general assumption that her fake schnoz was the only reason she won. To make matters worse, Denzel Washington LITERALLY says "by a nose" as he prepares to give her the award. While Moore deserved the gold that year, I don't remember Kidman giving a bad performance. I mean, it didn't even come close to Renée Zellweger in Cold Mountain.

So why the hate? And more importantly, why why WHY didn't they give it to her for Moulin Rouge! instead? That still stings a little...

James T said...

Where do the numbers come from? You know #609 etc

NATHANIEL R said...

The numbers? i have all 1000 in a spreadsheet.

i'll leave you to decide if that's true or not.

NATHANIEL R said...

also, i think this performance is really good. i have no idea why it gets a bad rap. the Best actress category is full of far less worthy winners (even though she didn't deserve to win that year.

cal roth said...

Kidman is good and deserving, but not the best of the year. It happens all the time.

SoSueMe said...

I rarely use this word to describe just about anything (it kinda sounds a little pretentious to me), but this woman SMOLDERED in this role. Even though I would have preferred a Julianne win, Nicole's Virginia was all kinds of sexy brooding bitch power.

And I know I'm in the minority here, but the nose works for me, and for Nicole. I mean, she's still friggin out-of-this world appealing, even with a face that is much less perfect than her own! It says a lot about her energy, creativity, and talent.

Kev said...

That's my girl! Nicole Kidman earned that Oscar win.

Hayden said...

I was totally on Team Virginia in this situation...no one, no matter how fragile her condition, deserves to be pushed around and disrespected by the help.

vg21 said...

Love, love, love this film! Great bitch moment, and I agree with SoSueMe, some kind of make-up was needed for this role to conceal Nicole's beauty.

Unfortunately, as it seems, her cosmetic surgeon might have done a better job than the make-up artist with the nose, but it was absolutely necessary to prevent me from being distracted by the huge difference between my image of Virginia Woolf and the gentle beauty Nicole was at the time.

cinephile said...

Great scene. Still, it's sad that the weakest of the three leading ladies in The Hours as well as one of the weakest (and shortest with regards to screen time) of the nominees won. POOR JULIANNE.

The Film Junkie said...

The nose didn't bother me either, and I thought she was deserving. Some people argue that it's more of a Supporting Role but I see it as Lead, I know there's a lot of politics that goes into the placing but I was fine with it that year. But then again I'm biased as hell when it comes to Nicole Kidman.

MRRIPLEY said...

I have no problems with her win,though like you nat she was not best of 2002,she was near best in 1995 and 2001.

Jeff said...

I love this performance and I think it deserved to win, the only reason people complain it's because of the screentime, she is in it like 30 minutes.Juliane Moore owned Far from heaven, she was in every scene, it's different.

NATHANIEL R said...

Jeff -- i wonder where it ranks in "shortest lead performances to win"

i bet it's up there with Louise Fletcher with Frances McDormand trailing them. or something.

Volvagia said...

Supposedly the shortest winner, proportion and time wise, is David Niven's ten minute appearance in the otherwise forgotten Seperate Tables.

/3rtfu11 said...

Streep was the defective performance. The kitchen scene is terrible. I hate watching other actors out act Meryl Streep by default.

Kidman doesn’t need to be ashamed of her Oscar (ala Helen Hunt, Gwyneth, Cuba, Robin Williams).

OtherRobert said...

She should have won the year before for The Others. If she was nominated for that instead of Moulin Rouge!, the trophy would have been hers and we may have avoided the backlash. Then again, they could have played it safe and just nominated Streep for The Hours instead.

I was pulling for Moore when Kidman won, but only because Maggie Gylenhaal didn't get nominated for Secretary.

Derreck said...

i'm totally convinced that Nicole lost for Moulin Rouge because of the politics and media attention that year about there being a lack of black performers who've won the major acting Oscars. I distinctly remember reading a couple articles and seeing media attention focused on it...and that same year, behold!

Halle and Denzel both won. Both were great performances for actors who decided to step out of their usual stuff (especially Denzel), but there were more deserving performers, imo.

Anyways, i'm happy that Nicole got her Oscar, and like a small section of people, the nose did not bother me at all. But this was probably because i was so focused on the story and the characters the first time i watched it because i was writing a paper on depression based on the movie.

Derreck said...

and to add on, i hate how media attention and 'politics' can totally overshadow a performance and a deserved win.

Plus, this whole series on bitchy moments tickles me endlessly.

Janice said...

I loved that scene. I can sympathize with the help who have to serve this bitchy woman but damn if that "bitch" didn't fascinate me. Her performance in that scene absolutely crackled with energy.

I'm with SoSueMe on this one. This film, not Moulin Rouge (although I love MR) is what made me a Kidman fan. From the first moment I felt as though I was "experiencing" Mrs Woolf, and only became aware of the woman behind the mask for a few seconds (when Virginia and Leonard are having a disagreement - in the dining room while he's eating breakfast, I think); whereas Streep, much as I love her, was very visibly "acting" and sometimes overacting for my taste. And I was not yet really into Moore at the time - again it was Kidman's Virginia who blew me away. (Although I came to appreciate Moore's performance on later viewing. It's probably the most subtle performances of the three. I think she might have been nominated for this performance had it not been for Far from Heaven the same year, and for a character during the same time period. In essence, I think she split the difference with herself, so to speak.)

Janice said...

BTW - I saw on imbd that Julianne returned to As the World Turns this year (the CBS soap opera) as "Frannie". WTF? Julianne, do you need the money that badly? If she's going to do television, she should at least get herself a well-written series on Showtime or HBO.

Ryan said...

Janice, she is returning to the role that got her in the door. It's called appreciating your roots.

Derreck said...

I totally agree with Ryan. When i first heard about Julianne and ATWT, i thought she might be slumming it a bit, but when i heard she got her first start on the show and was coming back for the last run, i thought it was super-classy of her.

DZ said...

Who cares about Oscars. This is a great performance, and this is one of the greatest moments of the performance. The nose has little to do with it. Watch the eyes. They vibrate.

NATHANIEL R said...

@volvagia -- weirdness. i remember Niven as being in a lot of SEPARATE TABLES but it is definitely an ensemble film. Wendy Hiller (who also won) runs circles around all the famous names in that cast though.

@Derreck -- Kidman wouldn never have won in 2001. It was totally going to be Spacek if it wasn't Berry.

@Janice -- crackled with energy is just it. I seriously cannot believe how much she is conveying in this scene. the darting but suddenly confrontational eyes, the naughty thrill of hostility, the projection (exhilarating trip to London) and so much else.

love love love it.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm one of those people who sort of liked Nicole before this movie, and have really disliked her ever since. Is it because I thought Julianne deserved the award? Maybe. But mostly I think she got the award for a cumulative amount of good work, and for surviving Tom Cruise and Scientology (there are a lot worse reasons to win an award I suppose).

No, it's that I never really liked her THAT much, and then she was getting all these great parts and an Oscar, and it just didn't seem right somehow. Who can explain it? She just wore out her welcome. It's probably an attitude that comes across as controlling and entitled. It seeps through.

Dave in Alamitos Beach said...

Okay, sorry to post as Anonymous, let me try the Name function...

NATHANIEL R said...

dave, welcome. i understand where you're coming from even if i don't feel remotely the same. that "entitled" feeling has turned me off of certain celebrities before. It's weird though how external things like awards and offscreen persona can *sometimes* seep into our view of the work, thouhg.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Okay, a collective you rock for Nathaniel. I always tell people this is my favourite part of Nic's excellent performance and I get blank stares. So much is going on here and I'm always using that line "Is something detaining you?" Just glorious, glorious.

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

See, this is a performance where I can fully support Kidman (to compensate for the rest of the time, where I just want to slap her and bring some colour to her face) - it wasn't just the nose. From the anguish to the anguish-spawned bitchery, this was a slightly simplistic but perfectly well-formed character. She did well. Give or take Julianne Moore, I'd say she was best in show - both in the film and that actress category.

Of course she didn't deserve a legitimate Best Actress award (hello! Huppert? Piano Teacher?) but she pretty much deserved an Oscar: or Most Successful Acquisition by an Ascending Actress in her 30s of a High-Profile Role Involving Aggressive Deglam Anguish, Literary Adaptation, Prosthetic Nose, Middlebrow Prestige and Playing a Real-Life Icon.

Guy said...

"Can you think of anything more exhilarating than a trip to London?"

Um, a trip to New York? Of course, I live in London, so the grass is always greener.

As for the Oscar, I remain completely happy with this win. Sure, she wasn't as deserving as Julianne Moore in Far From Heaven, but how many performances are? It's still adventurous work from a great actress. I'm relieved she managed to win an Oscar in that astonishing four-year golden period -- the Academy so rarely rewards the greats in their prime.

Also, people seem to be forgetting that Julianne was pretty much out of the race by the time the Oscars rolled around -- it was totally between Kidman and The Zellweger, and it was terrifyingly close. Let's be thankful for small mercies.

Jeff said...

yes I was very happy with the win, I hope Julianne gets one though she was so amazing in far from heaven..
and of course if it was between Kidman and Zellweger I don't see how anyone can prefer the latter.

Mirko S. said...

It's not my favorite Kidman's perf (you know, this girl gave us some treasures in TO DIE FOR, THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY, EYES WIDE SHUT, THE OTHERS, DOGVILLE, BIRTH, MARGOT AT THE WEDDING) but still she rocks in THE HOURS (the station scene and, in general, the duets with Dillane and Richardson)

Then I was so happy when she won the Oscar ("Art is important") as I was glad that a Kidman's perfs received tons of accolades (globes, bafta, the best actress prize at Berlin Film Festival, the first time in her career, no matter that it was ex-aequo)...I didn't really care very much that Nikkie was better in other movies

I can't even explain the bad rap...
Julianne Moore or Diane Lane were much deserving? ok, but Kidman was much deserving in other occasions...

Berry, Basinger and Swank weren't very deserving either and still people haven't been so harsh with them...well...maybe we have been a little harsh with Swank, anyway...

Mirko S. said...

Good Point: even if Moore and Lane gave the more interesting perfs, the real race was between Kidman and Zellweger...so I can't see why people debate so much about Kidman's perf...I was convinced that Zellweger's fans were just among Golden Globes jurors ;-)

Andrew R. said...

The reason Kidman didn't win for Moulin Rouge is because she was better in The Others. (Moulin Rouge is a better film, though.) She got swept along by the film's Best Picture nod.

And as for Julianne being robbed...The Hours has truly irritating categorization because you could make an argument for all 3 being lead/supporting. But since they each had other films that year, it worked like this:

Kidman is Lead because the others stemmed from her. Fine.

Moore was thought to have a lock for Far From Heaven, so they stuck her part in Hours in Supporting.

Streep would've been put in Lead because of Adaptation. Somehow, Hayek got in instead. (Lane and Zellwegger were locked in.)

And just for the record: I think Kidman deserved her Oscar, and in Supporting, Streep should've won for Adaptation. And Kidman did NOT deserve the Oscar for Moulin Rouge OR The Others.

Magicub said...

Hey Nat, You should open an archive of the 2002 competition, after the golden globes the race was Kidman Zellwegger (when she won the SAG she became the one who must not be named), this is how i found and then i follow "The film experience" (Wow 7 years!!)

JD said...

Come on! the train scene was awesome!!

i know by heart all the lines she says in that part