Nicole Kidman is really flourishing in the current television landscape. She’s been in great films over the last decade, stuff like Paddington, The Beguiled, Killing of a Sacred Deer, Destroyer, the upcoming The Northman. But she’s also had a slew of killer television work, from Top of the Lake to Big Little Lies and The Undoing. Even the upcoming Lucille Ball/Desi Arnaz bio-series, while horribly miscast, is a big f-cking deal. Television has been very kind to Nicole Kidman. And now she’s headlining another splashy ensemble series, Nine Perfect Strangers, which is set to air on Hulu next month. The ensemble includes Melissa McCarthy, Michael Shannon, Bobby Cannavale, Manny Jacinto, Regina Hall, Luke Evans, and Samara Weaving, and the series is directed by Jonathan Levine. It’s based on another of Liane Moriarty’s novels, and, like Big Little Lies, is co-created by David E. Kelly.
Kidman stars as a maybe cult leader luring people to a tropical Air BnB for what appears to be the world’s worst wellness retreat. What the f-ck kind of retreat involves digging your own grave? No matter how it is pitched to you, if someone asks you to dig your own grave, run away immediately. The only person interested in getting you into a grave is a skeleton who would like to free your skeleton as quickly as possible. Also, I don’t know what accent Kidman is doing here, but Wikipedia tells me her character is supposed to be Russian, so she’s doing a “Russian” accent, I suppose. But, wonky accent and suspicious skeleton activities aside, I like the vibe of a group of strangers isolated in a place trying to cope with one another in the middle of some kind of cult recruitment slash therapy session. It’s a recipe for melodrama, and this is an ensemble of actors suited for melodrama. Just to see Michael Shannon and Bobby Cannavale go all in would be enough but throw in Luke Evans (underrated as a melodramatic actor) and Melissa McCarthy, and I am SUPER into it. I hope there’s a scene where they all accuse each other of murder while someone dramatically smashes a wine glass at dinner.