Time for an Intervention:

Nicole Kidman's frozen face in "Rabbit Hole"


In “Rabbit Hole,”  Nicole Kidman is cast as a woman whose child has died.  The Academy award-winning actress would seem to have the performing chops to take on this type of demanding role.  Yet onscreen, her face appears passive.  Her forehead is not just free of unsightly wrinkles, it also shows only limited expression.   Usually, movement of the human brow actively conveys emotion. Yet in "Rabbit Hole"...
 
Kidman's brow moves little whether angry...
...happy...
...or sad.

Kidman's lips also appear unnaturally swollen. Though she is not our patient, Kidman, shows changes consistent with the use of Botox to the forehead and filler injections to the lips.  While these treatments effectively reduce facial lines, for actresses there is a balancing act between the glamor of smooth skin and procedures that draw attention to themselves.  Many reviews of “Rabbit Hole” specifically comment on Kidman’s facial appearance, a distraction that reduces the power of her performance.


Kidman's smooth skin is in stark contrast to movie hubby Aaron Eckhart's...
...Blotchy, moley, and creased. Imperfect but authentic.
 

Is Kidman’s role model the legendary actress and pop star Cher?  In “Burlesque,” Cher appears strikingly youthful.  She’s not obese, her fishnet stockings show no sagging.  Her full cheeks and lack of facial wrinkles in no way betray the fact that she is SIXTY-FOUR years old. Yet her lack of facial movement in the film is distracting.  For certain scenes, the producers hide her face in shadow. Presumably singing in the dark was preferable to an expressionless face in the spotlight.


As doctors that treat with Botox and fillers, we can vouch for their benefit and safety.  There is usually little risk of allergy or long term problems.  We feel the goal should be conservative.  Finesse work, to take the edge off of (gulp!) aging (there we said it!), yet not to appear odd or artificial.

The rare celeb that is up-front about cosmetic treatments, actress Courtney Cox told Instyle magazine this year: "Sometimes I use Botox. Compared to most, I use it very sparingly. One time I did too much, though. I feel weird if I can't move my face, and that one time I overdid it, I felt trapped in my own skin. I don't have a problem with any of that stuff; if it makes you feel better about yourself and it's done properly, then fine."
 

It’s not too late for Kidman.  Botox and most fillers eventually wear off.  Navigating the cosmetic obstacle course is going to take as much skill as her as her formidable acting talents.

 

Runner-up, Time for an Intervention:
Mel Gibson's deep furrows

Some consider Kidman over-treated.  But her fellow US born, Aussie-raised thesp, Mel Gibson, might benefit from some of Kidman's left over Botox.  The original “Sexiest Man Alive” shows skin as ravine-covered as the Australian outback.


Okay, Mel, not that much work, but SOMETHING.  Consider it if and when you get your personal life in order!

 


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© 1996-2011 Vail Reese M.D.

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