Preview of Patrick Boudet’s documentary “Nicole Kidman – eye-opening” by Valérie Montmartin in Little Big Story and Art France, causing a stir at the fair french conference In Paris with the French cinema.
Boudet has written and directed plays and documentaries for France Télévisions, Arte, M6 and radio, his previous project being the TV film “La Vie de Brian Jones” about the Rolling Stones guitarist.
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“Kidman” weaves together archival footage from the actor’s films with select interviews with her, including a 2012 audio interview with French film critic Michel Simment, as well as Bude’s interviews in Los Angeles, New York, London, and New interview recorded by Paris with director Gus. van Sant and John Cameron Mitchell, actors Charlotte Lipinska and Ciment, and critic Anna Smith and Variety’s Peter Debruge.
The photo shows how Kidman moved from Australia to Hollywood to get rid of the “tall poppy syndrome” that stifles talent. It explores the interconnectedness of Kidman’s personal and professional lives, shows how she uses her star power to take on challenging roles, and explores her role in Van Sant’s 1995 black satirical comedy ” How the role in To Die Foreshadowed a new direction for her career.
Director John Cameron Mitchell played Kidman in the 2010 drama “The Rabbit Hole,” for which she was nominated for an Oscar, and played Kidman in his 2017 sci-fi rom-com How To. Playing Kidman in Talking to Girls at Parties” – commented: “Has something to pursue – like her. Heroic. All her characters, even when they’re little people, have a strange kind of lonely fighter.”
Boudet and Montmartin interviewed type About the project.
What attracted you to this project?
Montmartine: ARTE has a dedicated slot for leading actors and filmmakers, and Nicole is one of the greatest living actresses. She has worked in mainstream films and directing films. She is a feminist and able to speak out on these issues. It’s all these complexities that made me want to make this movie.
Will the documentary include a new interview with Kidman?
Montmartine: No, she generally avoids talking in-depth about the potential connections between her life and work, which is what the documentary is about. But she’s not opposed to making movies about her. We had the pleasure of interviewing French film critic Michel Ciment, who gave her an extensive audio interview in Cannes in 2012. We used this recording and other interviews in which she told her story, supplemented by new interviews with people who worked with and knew her well.
What do you think of Kidman as an artist?
Budai: My main goal was to show that Nicole is not just an actress, but a director, a creator. She has no ambitions to write or direct, but through her films she expresses something that touches her and conveys her vision of the world. Paradoxically, she has produced a mirror work that tells us about her life. She inspires directors and writers. Because she wanted to experiment, she looked for underground, independent directors with their own personal worlds. She also tries to experience certain limitations, not her own but the psychological limitations of her female characters.
What do you think of her overall work?
Budai: I realized that running through her work was an underlying theme, an epistemology, if you will, about a female character effectively imprisoned. We find this theme running throughout her work, such as one of her early films, “Dead Silence,” in which she is a prisoner of a psychopath, or “Big Little Lies,” where she also lives in prison, first socially, then through domestic violence. This theme also appears in her blockbusters, and of course many sub-themes, such as in “Portrait of a Lady” where she effectively imprisons herself. Hollywood movies usually revolve around male actors. Nicole turned that around. For example, in the “Big Little Lies” series, she read the book and said to the author: If you give me the copyright, I promise you will shoot this project. She’s also a producer on many other projects, and it’s a way to unleash yourself and take power. She looks for directors with very independent worlds.
How did you deal with the connection between her personal and professional life?
Budai: I want to avoid a gossip based approach. As with the work of certain artists, writers or painters, one of the great mysteries of Nicole’s work is the many correspondences between her life and her work. For example, when she made Eyes Wide Opener, Stanley Kubrick drew inspiration from Nicole and Tom Cruise’s relationship. He kept rewriting the script. He reaches a point where the movie takes on a life of its own, inspired by their relationship but different. In the end, the film creates psychodrama as they quickly separate. Nicole also uses the film to question her own identity. She also spoke about how she fell into depression after the divorce and incorporated the experience into “the moment.” She started taking on more challenging roles, such as “Dogville” and “Birth,” which, unbelievably, fell in love with a child who claimed to be the reincarnation of her late husband. When she remarried in 2006, I think it gave her the stability to start her own production company “Blossom Films” and take on more extreme ones by filming John Cameron Mitchell’s “Rabbit Hole” or Lee’s “The Paperboy” Character Daniels.
How do you think the fact that she grew up outside of the US influenced her work?
Budai: Nicole is Australian, which in a way brings her closer to a European identity. I think American actors may not have the will to play equally challenging roles. When she arrived in Hollywood, she was drawn to Tom Cruise’s publicity machine. But she quickly grew weary of mainstream Hollywood, as she made films like “Batman Forever” and was looking for other roles. In terms of his support for her, Cruise is exemplary. He also had a significant independent film career before becoming a blockbuster actor with films like Mission: Impossible. It was around this time that she landed a role in Gus Van Sant’s “To Die For.” Gus had other options in mind, but Nicole called him and said I was born for this role. And her performance in the film is extraordinary. This marks a new chapter in her career.
In the documentary, you talked about her inspiration from literature.
Montmartine: She is very bright and always read as a child. Michelle Simment explains in the film that she has read many of the great Anglo-Saxon classics – Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte, Emily Dickinson, George Eliot, etc. She absorbed those influences. This is evident in films such as her Oscar-winning “The Hours.” She is inspired by great literary heroines. Even in a more mainstream film like “Bewitched,” she brings an inner conflict to the character.
Does Nicole Kidman know about this project?
Budai: She knows it’s in the works and will air on two channels in Australia, one of which will air in prime time. Don’t know how she will react. But the film is very positive about her work and above all it is very respectful. It’s important to remember that there are far more female directors in Europe than in Hollywood, underscoring the importance of actors like Nicole who break new ground. We live in the moment, like in Big Little Lies, women are liberating themselves. But there are still many obstacles, and Nicole is one of the people who can help through her role and her specific actions, such as working with female directors, such as Karyn Kusama of “Destroyer” (Karyn Kusama), and Team Lies with Andrea Arnold from Season 2 of Big Family. ’ I hope this project reveals her influence.
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