Kidman, Alfredson get ‘Danish Girl’ on track

Posted by · 5:47 am · September 16th, 2009

Nicole KidmanSay what you like about Nicole Kidman, but the lady’s taste in directors is beyond reproach. Fresh from having imaginatively recruited John Cameron Mitchell to guide her pet project “Rabbit Hole,” she’s teaming up with another arthouse maverick looking to cross over — Tomas Alfredson of “Let the Right One In” fame.

Alfredson will direct Kidman in “The Danish Girl,” another project the actress has been nurturing for some time, but one that seemed to have stalled for a while. I’ve been intrigued by this one ever since it first popped up on the radar, offering as it does a major thesping opportunity for the actress.

Kidman will play Einar Wegener, the male Danish artist who in 1931 underwent the world’s first sex-change operation. (The film will, however, be proceeding without Charlize Theron, who was earlier attached to play Wegener’s wife. Pity, that — sounded like a plum role for her, too.)

The film is going into production “soon,” according to Alfredson — meaning that this comes ahead of the project previously announced as the Swedish filmmaker’s English-language debut, a re-adaptation of John Le Carre’s British espionage saga “Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.” That’s quite the slate he’s got there.

The same can be said for Kidman: between this film and “Rabbit Hole” (the Pulitzer-winning domestic drama that won Cynthia Nixon a Tony on Broadway), she has two highly baity (on paper, at least) roles lined up for next year. Could 2010 be the year the Academy welcomes her back into the fold?

Perhaps, perhaps not. One suspects the collaborations are the real reward for Kidman. (Hell, no one picks a script like “Fur” expecting to get an Oscar out of it.) Take a moment to survey some of the names she’s worked with this decade: Noah Baumbach, Lars Von Trier, Oliver Hirschbiegel, Baz Luhrmann, Steven Shainberg, Sydney Pollack, Jonathan Glazer, Jez Butterworth, Anthony Minghella, Alejandro Amenabar, Robert Benton and so on.

That’s a rich list, by anyone’s standards. Sure, she hasn’t always caught them on their (or her) best form, but it’s surely more interesting to make a dud with an artist than with a hack. Now in her forties — the decade when actresses typically dry up — she’s taking charge by developing her own projects with her own production company, and sourcing the finest collaborators she can find.

To any of Kidman’s peers complaining about the dearth of roles of for women over 40 in Hollywood: that’s how it’s done.




→ 14 Comments Tags: , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

14 responses so far

  • 1 9-16-2009 at 5:55 am

    Rogers said...

    Kidman rocks. I hope the academy welcome her back sooner or later.

  • 2 9-16-2009 at 6:05 am

    Mr. F said...

    I’ve never understood the hate against Kidman. In my opinion she is the best actress working right now (after Meryl Streep, obviously). Even in her bad movies she does the best she can to elevate the material.

  • 3 9-16-2009 at 6:08 am

    Loyal said...

    I was like, wait a sec, she wasn’t in Downfall.

    But then, oh yeah, Oliver Hirschbiegel directed the shitty Invasion of the Body Snatchers remake.

    She has a real knack for appearing in the worst of films by the best of directors.

  • 4 9-16-2009 at 6:34 am

    red_wine said...

    I really share your enthusiasm for Kidman, she is my single favorite working actor and has been for nearly a decade now. She makes brave choices and is not an Oscar whore like some actors have become(I feel sad but I’ll have to categorize Winslet and Streep as such).

    Compared to other actors I find it shocking that she has 2 nominations with such a rich filmography. Thankfully Oscars don’t represent acting ability in the slightest. But all Kidman gets is unfunny botox jokes. If she starts doing Oscar-begging dramas every other year, her profile and popularity will rise greatly but her great taste gets in the way.

  • 5 9-16-2009 at 6:43 am

    Alex said...

    I think she needs to learn to not recruit these directors immediately after they release a great film. They often stumble at the second hurdle….she should wait till the third.

  • 6 9-16-2009 at 6:47 am

    Alex said...

    I am guessing Naomi Watts will take on Charlize’s role. ‘Need’ isn’t going to happen and Kidman dropped out of Woody Allen’s latest. Call it a hunch….

  • 7 9-16-2009 at 7:02 am

    Jim T said...

    I really liked Margot at the Wedding and Kidman’s performance in it. I think she has learned her lesson and from now on she will avoid bewitched and Sepford projects. (Although I kind of liked Stepford Wives :p)

    Guy, I guess you have no hope for her this year. I guess it’s really difficult since her role in Nine is too small and according to some people, unimpressive. Plus, big competition outside as well as inside the film.

  • 8 9-16-2009 at 8:09 am

    R.J. said...

    I’m another Kidman admirer, she really is (to me) the best working actress today, right up there with Meryl Streep. I really love her bravery and the variety of roles she’s had and continues to have.

  • 9 9-16-2009 at 8:22 am

    Silencio said...

    Well said.

  • 10 9-16-2009 at 8:32 am

    Katie said...

    Completely agree with you, I think she is a great actress with a unusually brave and interesting resume for a big hollywood star.

    The thing is though, and I am only saying this out of genuine dissapointment, she has done something with her lips that really turns me off. When she smiles, the lips look so obviously injected with…something – basically, a very plastic surgery look.

    This is such a downer and completely distracts from her work. I just can’t help noticing it. I’ve tried to ignore it, but it is just so painfully obviously that she’s had something done.

    And the kicker is that she didn’t NEED to. She was ridiculously beautiful just the way she was.

    Having said that, I am really looking forward these new films and I’m ready to root for her again. She is still an amazing talent.

  • 11 9-16-2009 at 1:23 pm

    BerkeleyGirl said...

    Katie, I agree with you 100%. Her seemingly restructured face was annoyingly distracting in “Australia” – not just the lips but entire jaw line. Even before this, I was bothered by the need for glamour – where’s the natural wonder of “Eyes Wide Shut”?

    As an artist, I’ve real respect for Kidman, but can’t join the huzzahs above. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen the looseness of “To Die For,” which I consider her greatest work to date.

  • 12 9-16-2009 at 2:38 pm

    jess said...

    She has also worked with Gus Van Sant, Jane Campion and… Stanley Kubrick.

    Of all the big Hollywood stars, she sure has the most interesting résumé.

    Oh, and after The Danish Girl, she’ll be working on Little Bee, another film with a timely topic.

  • 13 9-16-2009 at 3:30 pm

    Frank Lee said...

    Hmmm. Most transexuals look like broad-shouldered, awkward, mannish women. How is this going to work?

  • 14 9-17-2009 at 10:46 am

    mark said...

    The thing is though, and I am only saying this out of genuine dissapointment, she has done something with her lips that really turns me off. When she smiles, the lips look so obviously injected with…something – basically, a very plastic surgery look.

    This is such a downer and completely distracts from her work. I just can’t help noticing it. I’ve tried to ignore it, but it is just so painfully obviously that she’s had something done.

    people have to acknowledge this fact when praising kidmans “acting” with which facial muscle gone are the close ups of birth.