It's the year of Nicole Kidman, and we're all just measly spectators. Hot off the successes of HBO's prestige mom drama Big Little Lies and her Academy Award-nominated supporting role in Lion, the transformative Kidman will be seen next on the big screen in How to Talk to Girls at Parties. And we've never quite seen her like this before, have we now?
In this John Cameron Mitchell-directed sci-fi drama based on Neil Gaiman's short story, the narrative revolves around an alien (Elle Fanning) touring the galaxy for life experiences—an intergalactic study abroad, if you will—who ends up abandoning her group landing in the buzzy London suburb of Croydon back in the Eighties. Fanning's alien ends up meeting and falling in love with a nice young punk (Alex Sharp) and becomes acquainted with Kidman’s punk goddess character in order to save herself from death. (We guess the aliens aren't too pleased by Fanning's unexpected disappearance.) It's weird, it's silly, it has a great soundtrack, and we're into it.
The first teaser for How to Talk to Girls at Parties doesn't give much away plotwise besides what we already know, but we are able to see Kidman yell fun phrases like "Rise up my children!" and wear excellent black eyeliner, so we'll call this one a wash. It's set to premiere at Cannes later this week, where it is one of four Kidman-related projects making a debut—the other three are Sofia Coppola's southern gothic remake of The Beguiled, where she will be alongside Fanning once again; Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster follow-up The Killing of a Sacred Deer, which is about an arrival of a brilliant surgeon at the home of a dysfunctional family; and the second season of the hit New Zealand-based drama series Top of the Lake, which co-stars Elisabeth Moss. Set your predictions for next year's Oscars.
Nicole Kidman Takes W's Screen Test: