Nicole Kidman is one of the most beautiful women in the world. I know this because I have eyes, and also, the cover story told me so right there in the lede. Nicole Kidman is also a chameleonic talent, and here, I have to agree, both because I’ve seen many of her movies — it’s no small feat that Moulin Rouge and To Die For and Destroyer and Lion and The Hours and Big Little Lies are all adeptly handled by the same person. So why are we celebrating this celestial bright-burning women with a cover in which the photo makes it appear that one half of her face is twice the width of the other? (Seriously, in the photo, draw a mental line down her nose, and look to the left and then to the right, and tell me something weird didn’t happen there which doesn’t seem to correspond with the camera angle.) And why is she sodden? Why has she been doused? Why does she look like the star of some male-fantasy perfume commercial in which she walks out of a pool in a gown that’s about to slide off, with perfect lipstick and diamonds? Why all the boob-forward wetness, Vanity Fair? If you asked me to guess, I’d have said, “Oh, this is an outtake from when Nicole was asking the photographer when the hair people would arrive to give her a blow-dry, and the photog is explaining that the concept of the shot is that she just did the ice-bucket challenge, and her eyes are saying, You’ve got to be bullshitting.”

[Photo: Vanity Fair]