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A scene in ‘The Northman’ is enough for Nicole Kidman to give one of the performances of the year

WARNING: This article contains spoilers for The Man from the North.

The best adventure film epic returns to theaters with north man. This is the new film by Robert Eggers, the director of The witch either The lighthouse which for the first time delves into a more commercial proposal set in Norse mythology with a stellar cast made up of Alexander Skarsgård, Anya Taylor-Joy, Willem Dafoe, Ethan Hawke and Nicole Kidman. the tape, which can be seen in theaters from Friday, April 22narrates the odyssey of a prince to avenge the death of his father at the hands of his uncle, who has taken control of the kingdom and keeps his mother imprisoned.

In addition to being a film that never stopped referring me to classics like Gladiator, During much of his viewing, he could not avoid the feeling of being before a markedly masculine story, where men lead the action and women end up limited to mere romantic interest. He was especially striking with the character of Nicole Kidmanthat in her work as queen and mother of the protagonist half a footage is spent in the shadows in the service of the male roles. However, this ends up having a purpose in the plot far removed from what appears to the naked eye. In fact, it leads to Kidman giving one of his best performances.

Nicole Kidman as Queen Gudrún in 'The Man from the North'  from director Robert Eggers, a Focus Features release.Credit: Aidan Monaghan / ©  2021 Focus Features, LLC

Nicole Kidman as Queen Gudrún in ‘The Man from the North’ from director Robert Eggers, a Focus Features Premiere.Credit: Aidan Monaghan / © 2021 Focus Features, LLC

The odyssey of Amleth, the character played by Skarsgård, goes through infiltrating his old kingdom as a slave and taking revenge against his uncle Fjölnir, the role of Claes Bang whom, according to prophecies, he will defeat in a lake of fire . But here comes the emotional component of rescuing her mother, Queen Gudrún, and freeing her from the clutches of her father’s evil brother. Apparently, we are facing a damsel in distress situation with which Kidman is limited to being contained and silent, with hardly any intervention. But everything changes in the middle of the film, when in a turn of events, the Oscar-winning actress gives an interpretive tour de force to give a twist to the whole thing.

What until now seemed like a story of men overflowing with testosterone risking their ego and prestige, becomes a matter of court intrigues led by women. Before the treatment of lady in distress that Amleth gives to her mother in her reunion, Kidman’s character becomes a kind of Cersei Lannister and reveals a myriad of conspiracies hatched by her where men become mere puppets at her service. It is no longer about men risking a kingdom, but about a strategy to manipulate the fragile masculinity of the characters to play in their favor.

But what is most striking is not the twist, but the attitude of the actress, who from one moment to the next goes from a mild register to exploding with a contained fierceness that is simply standing up and applauding. The funny thing is that it is only a small scene, but Kidman does not need more to eat the entire film and give what is possibly one of the performances of the year. In addition, although it is a small character, it seems to me one of the best interpretations of him in a long time, even better than his recent Oscar nomination for be the Ricardos.

Nicole Kidman as Queen Gudrún in 'The Man from the North'  from director Robert Eggers, a Focus Features release.  Credit: Aidan Monaghan / ©  2022 Focus Features, LLC.

Nicole Kidman as Queen Gudrún in ‘The Man from the North’ from director Robert Eggers, a Focus Features release. Credit: Aidan Monaghan / © 2022 Focus Features, LLC.

And it is that during the past decade I think that Kidman has been very pigeonholed in her comfort zone, giving us roles that, although she has always been up to the task, mostly left you with the impression of having seen the actress in works and records much more solids. Or at least that’s the impression that movies like the seductionby Sofia Coppola, erased identity and even Big Little Lies. Not to mention failed dramas like the newspaper boy, Grace of Monaco, Trust nobody, the queen of the desert or the criticized remake of The Secret in Their Eyes.

But the best Kidman is back, and it only took a few minutes on screen to show that she is still one of the actresses of the moment, that there is no record that can resist her, that he is able to eat an entire movie even being in the shadows most of the time and that still has much to surprise us with.

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