Today in Yeah, That’s Actually Not Surprising news, Nicole Kidman’s Grace of Monaco has been pushed back to spring 2014, taking her out of (potential) Best Actress contention. After getting a look at that chintzy teaser last week, this makes sense. The Weinstein Company already has a full slate with films like August: Osage County, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, and The Butler making early frontrunner lists and Philomena, The Railway Man—which co-stars Kidman—and potentially Eleanor Rigby lurking; their plate is so full they’ve also kicked James Gray’s The Immigrant, which wildly divided critics at Cannes, to next year. Grace could always factor into next year’s race—Kidman is too popular to ever count out—but a spring move doesn’t look good.
One of the things that went a long way to killing my lady-crush on Kidman was her strange project selection. For every Moulin Rouge there’s an Australia. I’ll see your Rabbit Hole and raise you a Just Go With It. She emerged in the early-aughts as a powerhouse talent, but as soon as she solidified her reputation as one of the best of her generation, she used all the power and prestige she’d acquired to make…The Stepford Wives. And even as she made movies like Fur and Margot at the Wedding, there was snore-fest The Invasion (one of the few movies to ever put me to sleep in the theater) and the abominable Bewitched. And then that glacier settled on her face and it was officially over.
Now it’s like she’s trying to make up the ground she’s lost, but her project selection remains bizarre. I loved Stoker earlier this year, but The Paperboy? Utter trash. Hemingway & Gellhorn was at least mostly harmless, and The Railway Man looks promising, but Grace is casting a dark shadow over her upcoming projects. Maybe it won’t be as bad as, say, Naomi Watts’ turn in the disastrous Diana, which not only looks cheap as sh*t but also got killed by critics, but I’m once again questioning what, exactly, is motivating Kidman. She already reached the pinnacle, yet she approaches her choices like a twenty-two year old pop-tartlet desperate for a job—any job. I had hopes for Grace of Monaco but it looks like it will go down as another of Kidman’s weird choices, at best.