As Sarah and I have been saying, it’s a wide open Oscar race this year across almost all the major categories, including Best Actress. Nicole Kidman has been making a strong push right now with Being the Ricardos. Last week she was in New York, attending multiple screenings and Q&As alongside Aaron Sorkin and Javier Bardem. This weekend it was more of the same in Los Angeles, and last night was the premiere.
Nicole has been nominated four times for Oscar, with one win – in 2003 for The Hours. And like I said, winning her second is not impossible, especially not when you consider this role. She’s playing Lucille Ball and remember, it’s not the public voting on Oscars, it’s the Academy, and the actors in particular, who represent the Academy’s largest voting branch. Among them, taking on this part, playing Lucille Ball, a legend, the actors would see this almost like the holy grail of performances. That probably gets her in the nomination door, just from the trailer. So the rest is about campaigning. Speaking of…
It’s interesting to me that Keith Urban wasn’t with Nicole last night and he wasn’t with her for the NY premiere either. No, that’s not the kind of gossip we’re talking about – they’re fine, they attended the CMA Awards three weeks ago and they were together for Thanksgiving:
This is strategy. Being the Ricardos is about Lucille and Desi Arnaz. The film will focus on Nicole’s portrayal of the iconic Lucy, of course, but also on the connection between the two, the power couple of their time. So for promotion and for campaign purposes, that’s where you want to keep the heat.
But again, to go back to how competitive the Oscar race is in the Best Actress category – you know who’s considered a strong contender? Penelope Cruz, who is married to Javier. She won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival back in September for her performance in Pedro Almodóvar’s Parallel Mothers. That’s why she’s on so many Oscar prediction lists – because Volpi Cup winners have historically had excellent chances at Oscar; three of the last five Volpi Cup winners have gone on to an Oscar nomination and/or a win. So we may be looking at a situation where Javier’s real-life wife and his onscreen wife are both nominated and competing in the same category. Needless to say, none of this is ugly. Again, this is more related to strategy. If Penelope is going to be walking red carpets, it would make more sense to be doing it in support of her own campaign.
Let’s get to the fashion now. Nicole’s in Armani Privé, a label she wears often. To me, this is one of her safer red carpet choices – I mean the colour itself, this taupy shade, is about as unoffensive as it gets; it’s a dress that would appeal to a critical mass, nothing super fashion forward so as not to take any chances in the way of her nomination. It does remind me of one of her past looks though. That fluff coming out of the bust, back in 2004 at the Oscars, she wore a silver Chanel column dress with a similar design feature, remember?
That might be why it’s hard for me to get excited about this recent iteration. I prefer the original – but it’s obviously a look she favours.