Today is the 10th anniversary of the release of The Hours. That's just another reason to feel merry today and remember that gratitude isn't just for Thanksgiving. Especially not when it comes to the gift of cinema. We celebrate the movies all year long but we get extra weepy about the greatness of the artform right about now when drowning in awards and top ten lists .
Not that The Hours is an especially festive or celebratory movie but each Christmas does seem to bring us a super-depressing Best Picture Event (this year's iteration: Les Misérables). The Hours tracks three parallel women Virginia Woolf (Oscar winning Nicole Kidman), Laura Brown (Oscar nominee Julianne Moore) and Clarissa Vaughan (Meryl Streep) who are connected by difficult personalities, anxious spirits ("I feel as if I'm unravelling"), and Woolf's masterpiece "Mrs Dalloway" which she is writing and Laura and Clarissa are reading in the braided plots.
The 2002 Best Picture nominee is a beloved classic to actressexuals the world over and, as such, I know it's close to the heart of many of you. When I spoke with Nicole Kidman recently, we took a time machine detour to talk about her winning year. (I thought I'd save that piece of our conversation for a surprise Christmas gift for you. Surprise!) The Oscar winner herself was totally taken aback when I mentioned the approaching anniversary. "Wow. That was ten years ago?!?"
Indeed it was, Nicole, indeed it was.
NATHANIEL R: You've been invited back to the Oscars with Rabbit Hole recently but what's your most vivid memory of that winning journey with The Hours?
NICOLE'S PERSONAL MEMORIES AFTER THE JUMP...
NICOLE KIDMAN: For me as a girl from Australia who sat and watched Shirley Maclaine win her Academy Award -- I think I was in my pajamas with my sister. I was like "Ohhhh' and I just fell in love with her. She said something to Jack Nicholson and I was like 'Oh, I love that woman!' From that point on I watched them. I was like 'Gosh, it would be fun to go somewhere like that!' To then actually stand up there?!
[Suddenly Serious] When I won, though, America had gone to war and it was a really strange year. It was a dark year, actually. It was very somber and I just remember that hanging over the whole show.
At the same time it was kind of the thing that propelled me into going and trying to find my life, and find a partner, you know, find my love. Because I was alone. That's just the weirdest place when you have such an extraordinary high and to be alone?
It's such... it's very very -- they always say you get one thing because you don't have other stuff, you know? It sort of all balances out.
I really remember going back and the next morning waking up and I didn't have anybody, really, to call or celebrate with. No one that was a part of me. I had my kids who didn't really -- I mean, for them it was like 'oh, right' [Laughter]. My mum and dad are not, sort of, "fanny" type parents at all. It was fine for them but my dad would be so much happier if I was winning the Nobel Prize for Science. The Academy Award was interesting to them but it wasn't, like, the be all and end all at all. It would have been nice, and I've always said this, just to have someone to jump on the bed with and go "OH MY GOD!!!"
That's kind of when I went 'I better just get into finding somebody now that I'm really going to become a part of.' It was a very strange but extraordinary thing for me. Also, I've said this before , but a lot of it was about but pleasing my mother which is the simplest kind of way to describe things. I wanted her to say "great job". That was my drive for a lot of my younger years. And then, having that, it kind of happened but it kind of didn't happen at the same time so...
I would so love to win another one for the reason of having Keith in my life. I would so love to give that to him. Suddenly you go 'oh, I wish you'd been around when it all happened. This happened that night. And this happened. And it's really amazing!!!" [Laughter]
NATHANIEL R: He composed a song for the movies this year "For You" from Act of Valor.
NICOLE KIDMAN: He did, that's right!
...so he could technically be nominated himself!
Which would be amazing for him. It's so great having a partner who is artistic but not in the same field. You can really stand back and watch and not, kind of, have an opinion but watch it all happen. I love watching the music get composed and hearing music -- every day pretty much he's on the piano and the guitar.
We've got a two year-old now who taps away on the table and is already showing signs of musicality. I think my four year-old got the drama! [Laughter]
One after you. One after him.
Yeah. They'll probably end up being something really different but right now we're like 'Oh, there's the music child and there's the dramatic child!'