Intro for March 28, 2017
Nicole Kidman’s been doing some press ahead of Sunday’s Big Little Lies series finale. I can’t imagine she wouldn’t be up for every major acting award for her work on this show. It’s pretty much unanimous that this is the best she’s ever been. As she told Vulture and VOGUE, Celeste was written specifically for Nicole. Part of that is undeniably the exterior, of course, but much of it has to be about what Nicole might have to draw on for her character. Madeline (who was written specifically for Reese Witherspoon too) is the one whose secrets eventually tumble almost uncontrollably out of her, as we saw in that scene with Abby. Celeste’s secrets are determined to remain in the dark. And Nicole Kidman would certainly know something about that.
Interestingly, at the end of her VOGUE interview, Nicole was asked about the difference in the way Big Little Lies has been reviewed by male and female critics, a conversation we’ve also been having here on this site. Nicole’s response was to compliment the source material:
I didn’t read all the reviews, but overall I heard there was an extraordinary response. But you can take [the show] for what it is and think, “Oh it’s a bunch of affluent women running around with kindergarteners living out this very superficial life.” But I think that’s the brilliance of Liane (Moriarty), she writes these novels and then she threads in these deeply painful and topical and real emotions and relationships that you get pulled into. You think it’s light entertainment, and then before you know it, you’re gasping.
“Light entertainment” that serves profound commentary on how certain women relate to each other. And also the performance of lightness that often camouflages the complication underneath, right? Even if the world of Monterey and Big Little Lies isn’t necessarily your world, the idea of female performance – often in service of the comfort of men – isn’t unfamiliar to most women, is it? I wonder if that’s why the male critic is so confounded by this show. Because they’re seeing that, perhaps, the biggest lie of Big Little Lies is the one that’s been looking at them with a smile on her face their whole lives.
Yours in gossip,