Nathaniel, it's Nicole!"
After the briefest of pauses in which we both waited for my bewilderment to pass -- Nicole Kidman is calling me (?) -- she let out a hearty familiar laugh, instantly delighting and relaxed. She was, as it happened, a full hour early to our scheduled interview, having just finished a day's filming on Grace of Monaco.
Academy voters will be filling out their nomination ballots online for the first time this year -- they started voting this week and will continue through Thursday, January 3rd. One prays that this shake-up to their old school paper & pen system might also shake up their aesthetic palette. If it does, you'll hear Nicole Kidman's name read out for her genius star turn in The Paperboy. In this polarizing sweaty film, Nicole plays a tawdry beautician with a thing for violent inmates. This is not, as you have undoubtedly ascertained whilst reading about the film, the type of role which is usually nominated. This is, as you will undoubtedly discover while watching the film, the type of performance that deserves to be.
Early in our phone conversation, I shared with her my awe at her latest quick-change. "You've gone from Charlotte Bless to Grace of Monaco? Talk about an about-face!". She didn't skip a beat in her quippy response:
I'm standing here in a tiara and a white beaded dress and Cartier jewels."
As well she should.