Actor of the Week: Nicole Kidman
The list of australian actresses in Hollywood isn’t the longest but, easily, on top of that list is the legendary Nicole Kidman. Kidman is not only one of, if not the best, actresses to come out of Australia, she is one of the best in Hollywood, making her an easy choice for this week’s Actor of the Week.
I remember the first time I saw Nicole Kidman, and that was as her role as Dr Chase Meridian in Batman Forever, but she was already very well known before this, starring in two films before this with the iconic Tom Cruise - Days of Thunder and Far and Away. Batman Forever wasn’t exactly a great film, but it certainly paved the way for bigger and better things for Kidman.
A few years later had us see Kidman work with a former Actor of the Week, Sandra Bullock, in Practical Magic. A film about two witch sisters, one of which Kidman plays, cursed to prevent them from finding lasting love. To be honest, this isn’t a film I have watched many times, but I am aware it is a classic within its genre.
Like with many of our Actors of the Week, there is always a film that takes the actors career to the next level, and this is certainly the case for Kidman, starring in the fantastic, Oscar-nominated Moulin Rouge. I am not a huge fan of musicals, but when it comes to Moulin Rouge I really do enjoy myself. In a era where drugs and prostitution is thriving in Paris, a young poet, played by Ewan McGregor, falls in love with star courtesan of the club Moulin Rouge, Satine, who is played by our Actor of the Week. With Satine due to be sold to a rich Duke, they plan to run away together, and things only spiral out of control. Moulin Rouge has some great songs in, with them all being medleys of legendary songs like Roxanne and Your Song, which is why I think I enjoy this film, especially as they are so well performed by Kidman and McGregor. Kidman was nominated for Best Actress at the Oscars for this musical, but sadly missed out, losing to Halle Berry.
Nicole Kidman has gone on to have a really healthy career, starring in so many types of film, which really shows her broad range of acting skills, from comedies like Bewitched, where she starred alongside comedy legend Will Ferrell, to doing voice acting in the animated classic Happy Feet. But the film that won Kidman her well deserved Oscar for Best Actress The Hours, seeing Kidman play Virginia Woolf, an author who is recovering from a nervous breakdown. She writes a book that not only affects her life, but goes on affecting two more women in two different generations, struggling with life also.
A film that really stands out for me personally, from Kidman’s grand selection of films, is, ironically, Australia. Australia sees Kidman play alongside fellow Aussie actor, and a favourite of mine, Mr Hugh Jackman. A story about the history of Australia during World War II, we see two unlikely people in Jackman’s character Drover and Kidman’s character Lady Sarah Ashley, fall in love, even though they are from two completely different sides of life. I don’t think this film was generally well received, but it is one I have always enjoyed. I think the ridiculous runtime had a hand in putting people off!
Kidman continued being favoured by the Academy, starring in the Oscar-nominated film Lion, where Kidman was also nominated personally for her turn in this film. She plays the adopted parent of a young indian boy who gets left on a train and loses his family, to find himself reunited with them 25 years later. Lion is based on a true story, which only adds great depth to this film .
I could go on talking about Nicole Kidman, as her back catalogue is truly filled with brilliant film after brilliant film, but I think you get the message that she is without a doubt one of the best actresses of our time. Thanks Nicole, keep up the good work mate!