Welcome to The Queue — your daily distraction of curated video content sourced from across the web. Today, we’re watching a video essay that explores what makes Nicole Kidman’s performance in the supernatural horror film The Others so special.
Is Nicole Kidman one of our greatest living actors? Yes. Obviously. Next question.
You can’t throw a bag of AMC-branded popcorn at her filmography without hitting a performance that runs circles around her peers. Her vicious, seething anti-maternal performance in Park Chan-wook’s Stoker? Masterstroke. Her bubbly predatory turn as an ambitious newswoman in To Die For? Untouchable. And today, we’re here to sing the praises of one of her finest, and arguably most personal, performances: Grace in the supernatural drama The Others.
Directed (and written) by Alejandro Amenábar, The Others takes us into the forbidding mansion of Grace Stewart, a tightly wound, highly religious mother to two children who suffer from photosensitivity. Assuming her husband to be yet another casualty of the Second World War, Grace rules her house with impunity and precision. However, Grace’s tightly ordered world begins to buckle when strange happenings point to the presence of an unseen and potentially hostile force.
The following video essay makes a compelling case that Kidman’s performance in The Others not only rules but gains depth when read in the context of her recent divorce from Tom Cruise. It’s often repeated gossip amongst cinephiles that Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut — in which the couple co-star — was the final straw in their separation. But maybe the following video essay will make you see things a bit differently …
Watch “Kidman, Cruise & Scientology: A Horror Love Story”:
Who made this?
This video essay about Nicole Kidman’s performance in The Others is by Maggie Mae Fish, a Los Angeles-based comedian, actress, and culture critic who releases short films and video essays on her YouTube account. Her work has been featured on College Humor, Screen Junkies, and JASH. And she was also a former lead actor and writer at Cracked.com. Follow Fish on Twitter here.
More videos like this
- For another sample of Maggie Mae Fish’s excellent work, here’s her excellent video essay on RoboCop’s ties to the transgressive world of exploitation cinema.
- Here’s Fish with a video essay that does a pretty convincing job divining sense out of the sense-defying Twin Peaks.
- And here’s another video essay from Fish that compares Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining with David Lynch’s Lost Highway to underline the darker side of auteur theory.
- And, one more: what the films of Wes Anderson can teach us about the intersection of class and aesthetics.