Australia’s poor opening at the box office "once again proves that Nicole Kidman is many things, but not a movie star," said Patrick Goldstein in the Los Angeles Times. In Hollywood, “being a star isn't about being a recognizable celebrity,” it comes down to one “very simple equation: Do people pay money on opening weekend to see you in a movie?” And based on “that standard, Kidman doesn't fill the bill.”
“Australia looks set to join a list of Kidman films with a U.S. gross considerably lower than what it cost,” said David Thomson in the Guardian, so it’s fair to ask whether the actress is “becoming box-office poison.” But she has “always tended to be at her best in difficult rather than mainstream roles,” and “the bigger the picture, the greater the peril.”
Kidman is still a star, said Roger Moore in the Orlando Sentinel. “She took a role in a big romantic picture, helped Baz Luhrmann get it made and willingly took a back seat to Hugh Jackman, a cute kid and a big Land Called Oz—her home country—to serve the picture.” The fact the Australia didn’t open well is “not really her fault.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How the South's ugly racial history is haunting ObamaCare
- If Democrats abandon immigration reform after Tuesday's likely loss, they will turn 2016 into a debacle
- The real story behind Deliver Us From Evil
- Stop making fun of philosophy and read some philosophy
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- The culture war finally comes to the Catholic Church
- What if Leo Strauss was right?
- Israel's quiet doomsday submarines are almost ready
Subscribe to the Week