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Entries in Nicole Kidman (143)


Stage Door: Nicole Kidman in Photograph 51

Stage Door is taking a little trip across the Atlantic, since David is lucky enough to live in London, where TFE deity Nicole Kidman is currently treading the boards in Photograph 51.

Every article announcing Nicole Kidman’s return to the London stage made reference to the infamous review labeling her “pure theatrical Viagra” when she first played in the West End in 1998’s The Blue Room. Seventeen years on, the subject of Photograph 51 could hardly seem more antithetical: Rosalind Franklin’s passion in life is her work, the groundbreaking research into the structure of DNA, her part in which has been forgotten by mainstream history, partially due to her premature death from ovarian cancer before her male peers were awarded the Nobel Prize for their work.

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TIFF's Most F***ed Up Families

The everyday bloody evil of a clan in Argentina or public event provocations via a performance art brood in New England? Here are two more TIFF films for your consideration that focus on deviant nuclear families.

The Clan (Argentina, Pablo Trapero)
This true story thriller is based on an infamous series of crimes in Argentina in which a seemingly respectable but cruel upper middle class family who kidnapped members of even wealthier families (some of whom they were actually friends with) for huge ransoms. The central characters are the patriach and his eldest son, a soccer star, who feels increasing guilt about their paterfamilias activities. As a result of the grim crimes, and the sick complicity of all the characters, this is often an unpleasant and chilling watch, but the performances are strong (particularly the father who is cooly sociopathic in his entitlement and manipulations) and it builds to a strong and shocking 'how did they film that?' finale. Unfortunately, for non-Argentine audiences,  the storytelling often assumes that you'll understand particulars which aren't well layed out such as dates, political environments and sidelined characters that are all clearly more significant to the happenings if you already know the story. B

Oscar Trivia Note: Argentina has not yet selected their Oscar submission for 2015 though this one seems likely since it's a big hit at home. They've been nominated at least once a decade since the 1970s winning for The Official Story (1985) and Secret in Their Eyes (2009, which gets an English language remake this next month with Julia Roberts and Chiwetel Ejiofor in the leading roles.) The Clan's popular director Pablo Trapero has been submitted twice before for Lion's Den (2008) and Carancho (2010) but neither were nominated. 

Release Note: According to IMDb, Twentieth Century Fox has US distribution rights though no US release date has been named.

Christopher Walken, Maryann Pluckett, Jason Bateman and Nicole Kidman are The Family Fang

THE FAMILY FANG (US, Jason Bateman)
Some stories are not universal. This extremely specific dramedy is about two adult siblings Child A (Nicole Kidman) and Child B (Jason Bateman) who were raised by performance artists (Christopher Walken in a great bit of 'OF COURSE' casting and Maryann Pluckett who is possibly the film's MVP as the mother who is always trying to pacify her excitable husband and excite her reluctant children). The children grew up in this mandatory performance environment as the stars of most of their parent's most famous pieces. We see them as children in elaborate flashbacks of their "art" which generally involved pranking the public somehow sometimes with mock arguments in public parks other times with more elaborate scarier setups like a faux bank robbery.  Naturally the kids are fucked up as adults, when the story begins but both are artists: Child A is an alcoholic movie star whose career is on the skids and Child B a novelist and the most "normal" of the family member though he has his own problems, like the inability to say no to really foolish dares and offers. [SORTA  SPOILER] It's a difficult film to describe as the tone shifts from oddly funny to darkly satiric and then just sad and dramatic as the sudden bloody disappearance of the parents has the actress angrily convinced that it's another performance piece and the novelist sadly convinced that their parents are gone for good. [/SORTA SPOILER] What sells the film through its tonal shifts and logical loopholes are smart and tetchy performances from both Kidman and Bateman, who read as both too close and not close enough in a weird act of sibling chemistry, and the film's strange sense of humor. It doesn't always nail it's more ambitious attempts to be about the emotional cost of art for artists but it's highly watchable and interesting. B

A Note for Kidmaniacs: I'll never figure out why they de-glam Kidman with a bad frumpy wig when she's actually playing a movie star and it's really disconcerting to see her take off a wig that looks like her normal Nicole Kidman hair in her first scene to reveal the characters real hair (also a wig) for the remainder of the film.

Release Note: The Family Fang has no distribution as of yet but it's only a matter of time with famouis actors in three of the four key roles and solid if unspectacular reviews. That said the topic makes this a rough sell so a smaller indie who relies on VOD if they get nervous about marketability seems more likely.


Let's Go Down The Rabbit Hole Again

Jason from MNPP here with the latest dispatch from Kidmanville (Nicoleopolis?) - the Aussie goddess is set for a Rabbit Hole reunion! No she's not playing Galactus in the next Fantastic Four movie (although do stop and imagine that for a hot second, by all means) -- she's re-teaming with director John Cameron Mitchell on his next project, an adaptation of Neil Gaiman's short story How To Talk To Girls At Parties (out of his 2006 collection Fragile Things). Which is maybe even better than the Galactus thing.

I won't wade into plot details because I hate having too much of that ruined for me beforehand; you can read that at the link if you like. But I will say it's a science-fiction love-story set in London in the 70s, and that also attached to the film (as if we need anybody else) are Elle Fanning & Alex Sharp.

"Alex who?," you ask? He was the lead actor in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, for which he snatched a Tony this year. He is quite good, they say!

(Also of note: indie musicians Nico Muhly, Jamie Stewart of Xiu Xiu and Matmos are doing the music!)

The film will begin shooting in November and hopefully they'll shoot & edit & release it in time for this year's Oscars, so Nicole can pick up another statue of her own. She's totally overdue her second (and her third!) at this point, don't you think?


Nicole with 'Photo 51'

Nicole Kidman shared this photo to her facebook page yesterday 

It was a privilege to actually prepare with the original Photograph 51! Thank you King's College London for the opportunity…Love, Nic xx

She doesn't list the photographer (argh) but it's quite beautiful, don't you think? For those who are like "what's 'the original Photograph 51'?" and I readily admit that I fell into that category yesterday, it's the first photographic evidence of DNA. She's starring in a play titled after this historic artifact of both photographic and scientific history and the subsequent sexist accreditation for said discovery. Murtada previously wrote about her involvement in the play. Previews begin on September 5th in London for the limited run play that will close on November 21st.. Tickets here if you're lucky to be in London this fall. And, yes, this does mean we won't see her on many red carpets this season but it's a noble sacrifice as returning to the stage often rejuvenates smart serious thespians. 


Where My Girls At? International Stage Edition

Here’s Murtada checking in with a few of our favorite ladies treading the boards across the globe.

A kiss from Keira on this month's ELLEKeira Knightley in New York

What to do after securing your second Oscar nomination and having your first child the same year you turn 30? Why, make your Broadway debut of course! Starting in October Knightley will star in the Roundabout Theater’s production of Therese Raquin. The play is based on the Emile Zola novel about family, illicit love and murder. Lets hope it’s juicier than DOA recent screen adaptation, In Secret. In that version Elizabeth Olsen played Therese, but despite a stellar supporting cast - Jessica Lange and Oscar Isaac - it vanished quickly from screens.

more Keira and two Oscar winners after the jump...

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Shanté, Link, You Stay.

The Playlist shares what is supposedly the first poster for Silencio -- which makes it look like a lesbian drama -- but it looks incomplete since it's not regular poster size and even looks a little square for the European quad size. Or do my eyes deceive me?
Interview talks to Gal Gadot the new Wonder Woman, with photos by Chris Colls. Let's hope Gal has some screen charisma to go with the beauty since her body type is so teensy-tiny for that Amazon princess.
Vogue and Nicole Kidman are really getting along, huh? Now she's talking about Fashion and Film at the Met. Plus she this bit about her Galliano/Dior at the Oscars that one time...

Madonna came up to me at the after-party saying ‘Best dressed, best dressed!"


AV Club comic book artist Annie Wu has created a superhero for all of us "General Dread."  This is, in a word, awesome
Rope of Silicon Miles Ahead to close NYFF this year - will it generate any Oscar heat?
Buzz Feed looks at that controversial doc Open Secret which has had a rough road to theaters
Cosmopolitan gets on the set stories from 5 extras in Magic Mike XXL
Film Stage new trailer and poster for The Assassin starring Shu Qi and Chang Chen
Forbes wonders whether Terminator Genisys and Mad Max Fury Road have been labelled "flop" and "hit" respectively despite the same box office tally and budget. Interesting observations about media power and biases but this ignores a fundamental... when it comes to previous grosses from their own franchises there's no other way to label them. 

This story is a week old but I hadn't seen it and WTF?!? According to Variety, silent film genius FW Murnau's (Nosferatu, Sunrise) head was stolen from his grave early this month. Creepy!   


Cast Them Queens!
RuPaul has announced the second RuPaul's Drag Race: All Stars season. He's even asked that people chime in on twitter with their dream lineups, so I did. Assuming they're only drawing from the three seasons that came after All Stars (though perhaps they'll go older than that) what would your picks be among these queens?  Will it be a coronation for Katya, Adore, Alaska Thunderf**k or someone else entirely? 


73 Questions w/ Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman does Vogue's "73 Questions" as she gives us very brief peeks at her farm. I didn't know that Vivien Leigh was her favorite actress! Or that she'd just throw out the title "Bewitched" without worrying about bringing up painful memories.

Also she is terrible at doing impressions.