“Regrets are ridiculous, so I don’t regret, no.”–Nicole Kidman
This post is for LAMB Acting School 101: Nicole Kidman. When I was young I didn’t appreciate what an amazing actress Kidman was. Then she split from Tom Cruise and starred in Moulin Rouge and I was sold. So instead of focusing on three of her best roles, as I usually do, I could only trim it down to six.
To Die For (1995)
“You’re not anybody in America unless you’re on TV. On TV is where we learn about who we really are. Because what’s the point of doing anything worthwhile if nobody’s watching? And if people are watching, it makes you a better person.”
In To Die For Kidman plays a small town ice princess named Suzanne who dreams of being the next Jane Pauley. The problem is that she marries the delicious Matt Dillon. When he becomes intent on settling down she gets her teen friends (including a super hot, super young Joaquin Phoenix) to assist her in planning his murder. In this film she plays the type of sociopathic character that shouldn’t be relate able in the least but Kidman’s determination really sells it.
Practical Magic (1998)
“What wouldn’t I do… for the right guy?”
Practical Magic is based on one of Alice Hoffman’s wonderful supernatural books. Kidman plays Sandra Bullock’s sister. While Bullock is the serious sister who wants to be normal, Kidman’s Gilly is wild. She runs away from her looked down upon witch family and small town to experience life and love. When her man becomes overly obsessed with her she has to figure out how to get out of the situation with help from Bullock.
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
“So, because I’m a beautiful woman, the only reason any man wants to talk to me is because he wants to fuck me? Is that what you’re saying? “
“Stanley Kubrick taught me to believe in myself artistically. I spent my 20s raising my children, and wanting to, and being married. That was my driving force. And then he said to me, “No, you have to respect your talent, and give it some space, and give it some time. Which was a lovely thing to be given. And my children were a little older then.”–Nicole Kidman
In Eyes Wide Shut Kidman played against then husband Tom Cruise as Alice. Alice is the housewife to Cruise’s much admired by the ladies, doctor. After a party that makes Cruise look pretty slutty Alice really gets into his psyche by telling him about how women can be just as sexually motivated as men.
Moulin Rouge (2001)
“What’s his type? Wilting flower? Bright and bubbly? Or smoldering temptress?”
Moulin Rouge is the first film that really made me go, WOW, she can act! Kidman is Satine, the star of the Moulin Rouge. She sings, dances and romances her way in front of and behind the stage. She wants to be considered more than a sexy burlesque star, she wants to be a “real actress”. Satine’s plans are thrown by her forbidden love of the new writer in town, Christian, as played by Ewan McGregor.
Birthday Girl (2001)
“If you just wanted sex, go to a prostitute.”
Birthday Girl is the type of movie that you may have missed if you aren’t a pervert like me. It had a limited release and then went quickly to video. I obviously had to buy a screener copy off of eBay to see it before the general public (this was before DVD and during dial up y’all). Why was I so intent on seeing it? It’s an erotic thriller starring Kidman and Ben Chaplin (who I had a thing for at that time). Chaplin plays a lonely guy who buys a bride. She shows up to him seemingly unable to speak but happy to please him in bed. Of course, it’s not really that simple.
Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (2006)
“Me? Oh no, I’m not the photographer. My husband is.”
Fur is a difficult movie to watch. I’m sort of surprised that I’ve been able to turn so many people onto it over the years. Though I’m not familiar with the work of photographer Diane Arbus, who this is loosely based on, as soon as I saw an ad for it I knew it would be amazing. Kidman plays Arbus, who is somewhat bored with helping her photographer husband. She becomes quite taken with an unusual neighbor (played by Robert Downey Jr.) and then spreads her wings as a photographer of unusual subjects.
Nicole Kidman’s official YouTube channel
Nicole Kidman films on Netflix,-I suggest starting with Margot at the Wedding, which I almost included in this list.
Nicole Kidman hosting Saturday Night Live on Hulu Plus
Kidman in The Human Stain on Hulu
You may also enjoy:
Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Moulin Rouge-starring Nicole Kidman
Film Inspired Fashion: Just Go With It-costarring Nicole Kidman
3 Movies Starring Sigourney Weaver
3 Films Starring Samantha Morton
Nicole Kidman on my tumblr