Entries in Nicole Kidman (95)
Tim here. The career and talents of Nicole Kidman have been well-examined at the Film Experience through the years, but never by me. So I hope you’ll forgive the indulgence if I take advantage of her birthday to launch into a little celebration of my favorite working actress, one of the only people in the world with a legitimate claim to being both movie star and serious artist. For every big bit of Hollywood nonsense she deepens and improves with her steady presence, there’s an adventurous, even dangerous film that she makes with some of the most interesting directors out there, and she’s equally great in both modes, the odd Stepford Wives remake notwithstanding.
To celebrate, I'd like to share my 5 favorite Kidman performances, in chronological order:
Grace Stewart, The Others (2001)
I yield to no one in my love of Moulin Rouge! and Kidman’s performance therein, but this has always been my pick for her best performance of 2001, and not least because Alejandro Amenábar is less interested in ceding huge chunks of the film’s landscape to her than Baz Luhrmann. Providing the human core to an abnormally handsome, ultimately generic haunted house movie couldn’t have been anyone’s idea of a rewarding assignment, but Kidman dives with intelligence and restraint into the role of a stern matriarch, terrified by the empty old house she lives in. She turns out a leading performance that is deeply sensitive and wounding (that meeting with her husband!) while also paying scrupulous attention to the mechanical needs of the horror script. She’s especially good at converting the twist ending from something ludicrous into a genuinely moving moment.
...host Audrey Tatou's chirpy "oh la la" before the Palme D'Or
...president Steven Spielberg's weirdly nervous reveals of the winners
...Bérénice Bejo's surprise at winning Best Actress (damn is she ever looking gorgeous). Well, she was getting so good at losing.
...Ang Lee's entrance (why does the mere sight of him always fill me with joy?)
Awesome female directors, stage orgasms and actresses we now own (???) after the jump...
Jose here. As the Cannes Film Festival came to its end two very sad things became obvious: first, who knows how long we'll have to wait to watch all the winners on screen and the second - perhaps most heartbreaking of all - is that there will be no more daily Nicole Kidman-sighting anticipation. Queen Nicole couldn't let us down of course and she showed up one last time looking absolutely regal.
Who She Wore: custom made Giorgio Armani.
Which Director She's Trying to Lure: ALL of them, This lavish silk dress is essentially a less controversial redux of her infamous bow-dress from the 2007 Oscars only this time she's using subtlety to remind them all that she is indeed a gift to the movie world.
What would Diane Arbus think of this: "I saw you through my window and right away I wanted to take a portrait of you."
And princesses too! Actually I'm predicting neither Princess Grace (Nicole Kidman) nor Princess Diana (Naomi Watts) for the eventual shortlist though their names will undoubtedly continue to come up. Yes, the Best Actress Chart has arrived.
My final shortlist is all Oscar winners -- which has only ever happened once (just last year in Supporting Actor ) but this is what my crystal ball is telling me so I obey. And anyway, it's a Previous-Actress-Winning Heavy year at least in terms of who got jobs headlining major motion pictures. Even lower in the charts there are a lot of Oscar winners, all told. It's (maybe) that kind of year... though I could see a scenario where unOscared supporting chart players hop over to Lead Actress if they see a window and their roles are substantial enough (Adams? Harris? Winfrey?). And with 235 days left to go before Oscar nominations are announced, a lot could change: a quickly filmed or under-the-radar movie could hit it big on the fall festival circuit; holiday box office could shift focus around substantially at year's end; films could suddenly be moved to '2014 TBA' status.
The Wild Card
This time it's not a person but The Weinstein Co. themselves. They've got more actress hopefuls than even they can handle since they're representing Grace of Monaco, The Immigrant, Philomena, August: Osage County and The Butler. (Does this clear the way for Sandra Bullock to win a second Oscar? I'm only mostly kidding) There is about a 1% chance that TWC will stay supportive of all of those films since they regular abandon their runts rather than nurturing them, to concentrate on the pick of the litter. Some of the ladies in question can generate some degree of media and internal industry interest even without puppet masters behind the scenes but not all of them. What do you think TWC will do when it's time to play favorites?
Fun Trivia About The Top Ten on This Chart
- They have 47 acting nominations and 11 acting Oscars between them
- They range in age from 37 to 78 (will it really be a year skewing that mature?)
- 6 of them have competed directly with Meryl Streep for Oscar glory but only one, Sandra Bullock, has ever prevailed in head-to-head combat. (7 & 2 if you count Nicole winning the only Best Actress nomination from The Hours.)
- 3 Australians, 1 French, 3 Brits, 3 Americans