I have a problem. (Okay, I have many problems. But I can only write about one at a time.) I want to see Australia. Both the actual country and the movie of the same name. I've heard that even the most expensive movie tickets are significantly cheaper than a one-way ticket to Oz, so I think I'll start with Baz Luhrmann and see where I go from there. I'm well aware that some critics are calling the film a sweeping epic, others are calling it a belaboured clunker, and a select few have written it off as strictly painful. And I'm okay with that. I have a high pain tolerance. I just want to check out the panoramic views, period costumes and the wombats. Please let there be wombats.
Here's the problem: I'm afraid that during the film's most intense moments, those brief slivers of excruciating human experience that should rattle me, I won't be able to look Nicole Kidman in the eye. Instead, I'll be distracted, staring at the thinly stretched skin just above her eyebrows. See, I'm obsessed with her forehead.
I happen to find Kidman's Hitchcockian beauty stunning. In theory. But when the cool blondes who came before her (think Grace Kelly) laughed, they threw their heads back slightly and lifted their eyebrows in delight. Foreheads moved. Faces had signs of life. Nicole's face has signs of injectable toxins.
Nicole used to have life in her face. (Watch Dead Calm if you must. Or just take my word for it.) Now she's a vacant porcelain doll that blankly stares at you, tears welling up out of nowhere, without the slightest squint or nose wrinkle, completely unconvincing as a woman who's lived a hard life. Or as a woman who's ever seen the sun. Or as a woman who's ever been in love. From what I know of the opposite sex, men like faces that move. Even if just enough to laugh at their almost-funny jokes.
So the question remains: How do I reconcile my love of Baz Luhrmann and my discomfort with Mrs. Keith Urban's visage? (And how on earth did she nab Urban? Someone, tell me. Oh, how I love his hair. And guitar. Not in that order.) And how do I get past the fact that Wolverine is riding through the outback on horseback?
Aside: How did People Magazine determine that Hugh Jackman is the sexiest man alive? Last time I checked, there were A LOT of men alive. A lot.
This promotional shot is pure perfection. That landscape. That rugged Australian hero. His hand tugging at her hairline, trying to force some expression into the face of the woman he loves. Marvelling at her tight pale skin, her deer-in-the-headlights gaze that tries so desperately to return his affections. Moments after this shot, he whispers tenderly in her ear, "Furrow your brow. Just for me, darling."
Ah, cinematic romance at its best.