Not nice

by Michael O. Allen on November 25, 2008

Melanie Reid in the Times of London threw the kitchen sink at actress Nicole Kidman:

Kidman is one of those women who turns other women off. And no, not just because she’s pretty and we’re jealous. It is because we perceive, and men don’t, that she’s one of the most overrated actors in the world, a woman who has been the kiss of death in practically every movie she has starred in.

Kidman is exquisitely accomplished at being awful. Did anyone see Cold Mountain? The sweeping American epic (note: another epic) foundered on the rocks of her gormless mirror-gaze. She can’t act. Instead, she drifts around films like a lost porcelain doll, looking frozen, brittle and vapid, staring at the camera with her oh-golly-look-how-I’m-looking-interesting blue eyes.

And today’s (predominantly male) directors haven’t quite woken up to the fact that it just isn’t enough for female actors just to wander around like supermodels: they need another skill too. Like emotion.

I don’t hate Kidman. There was a scene in “The Hours,” however, when I unconsciously burst out laughing at Ms. Kidman’s face (it may have been because of the false nose she was wearing as Virginia Woolf). I don’t quite remember the scene, except that she was seated in a room, writing.

I won’t confess to this but I may also have been overjoyed when her character drowns in that movie. Yet, Ms. Kidman has always been hailed as a ravishing beauty, Hollywood’s Golden Girl, and a leading actor of her generation.

As Ms. Reid said in her piece, Kidman has tended to leave me cold. I cannot say in which film I’ve ever actually enjoyed a performance by her. There are any number of actors of her generation that I would rather see act in a film than her.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: