Nicole Kidman is one of our most unpredictable movie stars. So why aren’t his television roles more interesting? ”The Washington Post wondered a few days ago. The question arose about its most recent premiere, Nine perfect strangers, an original miniseries on the Hulu platform that can be seen in Latin America through Amazon Prime Video.
The fiction presents her as the enigmatic Masha Dmitrichenko, a guru who welcomes nine different people in a retirement center in California, Los Angeles. A character that refers to an almost celestial and inscrutable figure that, at first, seems like a role tailored to the star, here surrounded by a sought-after cast: Melissa McCarthy, Michael Shannon, Regina Hall, Bobby Cannavale and Luke Evans.
But, in light of the first three episodes –available since last Friday in streaming–, the production squanders a good part of the acting attributes of the Australian interpreter, within an already quite misplaced plot. International critics, who accessed six of the eight chapters and gave mixed comments to the story, generally agreed that it is a title that does not live up to the potential of its protagonist.
It’s not the first time in the last year that Kidman has seemed off-kilter or overdrawn in a role on television. The undoing, the HBO miniseries that debuted in October, earned it Actors Guild Awards and (now discredited) Golden Globes nominations. But it was not too much of a surprise that the Emmys decided to drop it from the miniseries category, bowing for the forceful interpretations of Kate Winslet (Mare of Easttown), Michaela Coel (I may destroy you), Anya Taylor-Joy (Lady’s gambit), Elizabeth Olsen (WandaVision) and Cynthia Erivo (Genius: Aretha).
Within a melodramatic fiction that put the blows of effect and the thick line before the subtleties, the actress had little space for the nuances when embodying Grace Fraser, the wife of a mythomaniac (Hugh Grant) involved in the crime of a woman in New York. After all, even though the production was a ratings success for HBO, Kidman did not gain much from his participation. Or not as much as Grant, in charge of a dark role that he has rarely had the opportunity to play in his career.
The Australian, on the other hand, had already had the possibility of assuming a similar character and with much more layers than that of The undoing: Celeste from Big little lies, a woman victim of domestic violence at the hands of her husband (Alexander Skarsgård) who strengthens ties with a female group made up of the characters of Reese Witherspoon, Shailene Woodley, Zoë Kravitz and Laura Dern. That role crystallized a particularly brilliant moment for the interpreter: as a producer and actress, she was making her way to 49 years on television with a series that was a phenomenon of criticism and audience and remains a must-see of the HBO crop of recent times. .
An unnecessary second part released in June 2019 – in which they summoned none other than Meryl Streep – provided the first signs of exhaustion in the serial format for Kidman. If the first seven episodes established her as the winner of the industry’s top accolades, season two passed almost without pain or glory on the awards circuit.
Both in Big little lies like in The undoing and Nine perfect strangers Its main creative ally has been the veteran David E. Kelley, an entire institution of the United States TV, responsible for successes such as LA Law and Ally McBeal, as well as several titles that have had their debut and farewell. While their collaboration started well and then has had ups and downs, since 2017 Kidman has multiplied facets in the cinema, along with names like Sofia Coppola, Karyn Kusama, Jay Roach and Ryan Murphy, sometimes hitting it and sometimes crashing. But, badly or badly, she has applied the dose of risk that has been lacking in the world of series, where – given her status as a producer and performer – she could practically build the project she wants.
Curiously, two films could serve as an opportune refreshment for a career that has become lethargic on television. His next projects are The Northman, the ambitious film by Robert Eggers (The witch) inspired by Icelandic mythology, and the feature film Being the Ricardos, where under the direction and script of Aaron Sorkin she will take on the role of the historic television actress Lucille Ball. After some disappointment, the best of Kidman’s repertoire could be yet to come.
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The ups and downs of Nicole Kidman’s television life