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Dubious Makeover

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Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf? Not Nicole Kidman. To play the novelist in The Hours, Kidman donned a wig and prosthetic nose that rendered her unrecognizable. The disguise fools moviegoers, but what about Woolf scholars? ”Just adding a larger nose doesn’t do it,” argues Dartmouth prof Brenda Silver, author of Virginia Woolf Icon. ”Woolf’s nose was part of an aristocratic face. [She] was not homely.” Nor was she dowdy, says Leslie Hankins, VP of the International Virginia Woolf Society. ”[Kidman] doesn’t have the regal excess that marked Woolf. The kind of glamour Woolf had…was striking.” But IVWS president Vara Neverow says she thinks the actress, um, knows best: ”I would anticipate that Kidman will interpret the role effectively, and that’s what matters.”