Friday, September 3, 2010

Nicole Kidman in The Hours

Nicole Kidman received her second nomination and won her only Oscar to date for playing Virginia Woolf, the tragic author in Stephen Daldry's movie The Hours. I think Kidman had the most chance during the time (along with Renée Zellweger) to get the award, which she did beating Zellweger (gosh, her face in that video is so hilarious), Salma Hayek, comeback star Diane Lane and critical darling Julianne Moore ( lso her co-star in The Hours).

I'm so blown away... by Julianne Moore. Boy, she gives one of her greatest performances in The Hours as the unhappy housewife in the 1950s (and probably even should have won that Supporting Actress Oscar). Except for her, The Hours is a rather average, meaningless, pointless movie, which so desperately tries to be artistic but never manages to reach its goal. However, I must say (as a fan of Philip Glass) that the score absolutely should have won the Oscar. There are great actors in this movie, but none of them makes such a huge impression as Ms. Moore.

And that includes Nicole Kidman. It's such a common thing to hate this win and performance, but I cannot really agree with the haters as she definitely has her moments, so her win is not as disappointing as, say, Sandra Bullock's (coping with this win will not be easy for me, it still hurts). her whole character and material is rather thin. Sure on the outside she gets very much to do, mental illness, tragic heroine, real-life person and so on, but this role is not as baity as it seems. It doesn't reveal how horrible Woolf's illness really is (though that might also be Kidman's fault).

It's not only her material which is thin, though. Actually, her whole performance is not substantial enough to be called a lead performance. You see, I never had problems with the screentime (I mean Patricia Neal won my vote with only 20 minutes), no it's the lack of true and deep impression which really bothers me. I know it's very unfair to compare her to her co-star, but I'm not fair: quite simply put, Julianne Moore totally outacts her and overshadows all the other storylines (yes, including marvellous Meryl Streep who gives another one of her teary-eyed performances I honestly cannot stand). Kidman never actually becomes the centre of the movie, even though it starts and ends with her.

As I said, her material is rather thin, but she gets some very artistic stuff, which are rather pointless. For example, here's her famous scene with the dead bird. I mean, come on! It was one of the lamest and cheapest scenes of this movie and totally pointless, though Kidman is able to inject some emotion into it. And her infamous nose: that's really not Kidman's fault. She's in my opinion a terrific actress and that nose looks weird simply because the make-up is awful.

Probably Nicole's best moments come towards the end, where she says goodbye to her sister, Vanessa. Her hysterical, over-the-top behaviour totally suited that scene and had some kind of an emotional effect on me. She showed so much desperation and anger deep inside her character, that I felt very releaved that finally I can get to know this woman. Again there comes a brilliant scene (which had an enourmous impact on my opinion of her work here) on the train station where she argues with her husband about her mental health. She's far from gut-wrenching, but her dexterity with the emotions there is remarkable. I was quite satisfied there.

Again there comes another question: whose fault is it, that this performance is not as good as it could have been. In my humble opinion, it's definitely not due to Nicole Kidman, who could have been much more interesting and complex than she was in this one.

So, to sum up, I saw a rather disappointing performance by a very good actress who could have done more, I think. If I'm totally honest with myself I'm dissatisfied, but only to a degree because as I said Kidman has her moments, but the overall achievement was not enough to get me. I like heavy stuff, but this is a bit far from it. The grade is fine I think.
Sorry, you had to wait this much, but school just started and everything's crazy here. Who should be the next (I'll review her tomorrow or Sunday at least)?So what do you think about Kidman? What do you predict for my ranking now?


Louis Morgan said...

I basically agree with you about her. I'd recommend getting Hayek over with.

joe burns said...

At the time, we agreed on the grade, but now, I'd think I'd give her more. I thought she was really haunting, and did the best she could with the role. Maybe it would have been better had the movie just been about her.

I agree on Julianne, she was really good, as was Streep, but to a lesser degree. Do Hayek next!

Allen said...

I agree with your rating. Kidman was okay at best, but she just wasn't given enough to work with, and has no business being in the leading category, I don't even think I'd nominate her for supporting. The few good things she does do isn't nearly as great as what Moore and Streep do.

dinasztie said...

Well Joe I also thought that Kidman was haunting sometimes (in the scenes I praised), but she was too overshadowed by Julianne Moore and that influenced me, because Nicole Kidman did not have much to do in the end after the station scene, so she could not even compete with Moore. That's bad.

Twister said...

I agree with the rating -- not awful, but not all that great either.

Anonymous said...

What a piece of shit review.
Nicole Kidman won the golden globe bafta award kansas film critic circle award,the berlin silver bear award for best actrees and the oscar for a superb performance and you think you know better than the experts what a laugh the hours is a wondefull film and you're an ignorant who thinks you know a lot for watching movies