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
- Why Mitt Romney is perfectly poised for a comeback in 2016
- The best places to find love — and lust — according to science
- Why is the West so afraid of Islam?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- The mystery behind China's aggressive push into space
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- Why GOP reformers are bound to fail
- Don't vote for Andrew Cuomo
- 10 things you need to know today: July 31, 2014
Subscribe to the Week