At the very least, the director, writers, and actors should have watched Reds before setting off to film this. Even a pretty boy actor, Warren Beatty, created an epic about epic periods in world history, the Spanish Civil War included. Kidman is acceptable, even good here (I am very impressed with the older version of herself), but cannot pull this film up from the ordinariness of itself. Owen has crafted Hemmingway out of every stereotype of a boorish American he can imagine, yet even missing that mark. His characterization has no relation to an early 20th century, hard drinking, egotistic, intensely alpha male. He comes across as a cute but dirty frat boy out on a lark, endeavoring to be merely charming, with none of the depth Hemmingway must have had. I also blame the director for this, as Owen is normally a fine actor who crafts his characters well. Kidman has had remarkably few flops in her career, so I can't be too hard on her, but this is one of them. Not sure what convinced her to do this movie, although I guess you don't really know until the contracts are signed and it's too late. She is not known for walking off sets. She also needs to learn to swig liquor from a bottle, something I doubt she has ever done.
The first not great thing I noticed about this movie is very strange. But it seems as if every actor, Kidman included, is self-conscious about hitting and being on their mark. It is squarely on the director that such a thing could even be detectable, and I can't remember ever noticing it on any other film this clearly. Everyone just looks like a deer in the headlights, afraid to move. I only watched 30+ minutes, but doubt it gets better; I gave it 15min too long. I had already wasted 2hrs of my life on a film today, so not about to repeat that.