Nic received her Cinema Vanguard Award from the Santa Barbara International Film Festival last night! Congratulations again to Nicole on being awarded with this honour. She looked chic in a silk white trench dress by Nina Ricci (a new favourite designer of hers, it seems!) with her red hair pulled into a bun. On her feet she wore Pierre Hardy heels, her earrings were Fred Leighton, and her clutch was by Prada. After walking the red carpet and signing for fans and talking to journalists, she spent over an hour onstage inside discussing her career with the SBIFF Executive Director. That must’ve been fascinating to watch!
So, below I’ve posted several articles with quotes from the evening – the first and last articles are particularly good reads. It’s so wonderful to be reading such positive stuff about her, and people once again recognising her talent! We also have some videos from the red carpet, as well as a short clip from the discussion itself, in which Nic talks about Moulin Rouge and the casting process for that (the Heath Ledger mention was interesting, and her reaction was sweet).
And of course, 130+ gorgeous HQs have been added to our Gallery! More photos, plus screencaps from the videos, will be added asap too.
Stunning Nicole Kidman electrifies Santa Barbara’s Arlington Theatre
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival continued to enjoy overwhelming support Saturday night as more than 2,000 people crowded into the Arlington Theatre to see Nicole Kidman, who was receiving the festival’s Cinema Vanguard Award. The award is presented annually by the SBIFF to actors showing a willingness to take risks in the roles they chose.
Kidman has taken those risks throughout her career, including her role as a grief-stricken mother and wife in the current film, Rabbit Hole.
Kidman took her time outside the theater, enjoying the crowd. “The first time I took a real risk was when I was 17,” said the Hawaian-born actor, who was raised in Sydney, Australia. “I just took off and backpacked around Europe. I am a great believer in saying ‘why not’ rather than ‘I can’t do it’.”
During the ceremony, Kidman talked for more than an hour with SBIFF Executive Director, Roger Durling. “The more complicated you are allowed to be the better you become,” Durling gushed at one point.
Kidman, who typically plays edgy, sometimes hardened characters, was anything but as she clearly had fun answering the questions.
“Life is contrasts,” she told the overflow crowd. “To appreciate something you have, you have to have been in a place without that thing. That’s why, even though I am happy in my personal life, I chose to take on the character in Rabbit Hole, who was suffering so deeply.” In the film, Kidman’s character loses a son to an accident and struggles with the emotional aftermath. “We have to keep our art dangerous,” she said.
Also honored during the evening were four films, including Light in Darkness, Face to Face, Michael Rymer director, Confessions of an Eco-Terrorist, Peter Brown, director/producer and Finding Kind, Lauren Parsekian, director and Molly Stroud, producer.
Kidman has acted in a variety of commercially successful films, such as Batman Forever, Peacemaker, The Invasion, Malice and the Stepford Wives, but many of her roles and the films she chooses are off the beaten path. Films like Fur, Dead Calm, Dogville, The Human Stain and others left some movie goers shaking their heads and others cheering her willingness to take risks. Even Moulin Rouge! was considered a risk because musicals were out of style in 2001, when the film was released.
Kidman, 43, still loves to skydive and act in theater. In 1990, she also married actor Tom Cruise which some observers feel may have been her biggest risk of all. After her 2001 divorce, she married country singer, Keith Urban in 2006, and they maintain homes in Los Angeles, Nashville and Sydney.
Kidman hopes to star in The Danish Girl, a film adaptation of the novel by the same name. She will play Einar Wegener, the world’s first post-op transsexual.
“I’ve wanted to be an actor since I was small, which is embarrassing because I wish I had wanted to be a doctor or a scientist,” said Kidman. “But, in truth, I always wanted to be an actor.”
The Film Festival is slated to end tonight at the Arlington with the premiere of Georges Bizet’s popular opera Carmen in 3D, directed by Julian Napier. The event will mark the first time ever that an opera has been filmed and shown in state-of-the-art digital 3D. The start time will be earlier than normal, the red carpet arrivals begin at 5 p.m. and the show seating begins at 6 p.m.
Australian actress Nicole Kidman was presented with the Cinema Vanguard Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) last night. Two thousand people filled up the beautiful Arlington Theatre for the occasion. Many more stood at the perimeter of the enclosed area immediately in front of the theater in the hope of catching a glimpse of the artist. They got their chance close to 8 pm when Kidman walked the red carpet at a rather quick pace but always smiling.
The award was presented in recognition of Kidman’s prolific career both in film and theater, celebrating the range and versatility that she has demonstrated in the selection of her characters. The event included clips of movies the American public has enjoyed since they first discovered her in 1989’s Dead Calm.
Kidman receives top Santa Barbara prize
NICOLE KIDMAN was the toast of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival in California on Saturday (05Feb11) as she was honoured with a top prize.
The Moulin Rouge! star received the coveted Cinema Vanguard Award, which recognises stars who take artistic risks and make a significant contribution to film, at a special tribute as part of the 10-day event.
Taking to the stage to accept the trophy, Kidman told the audience, “I suppose that’s in my blood. I don’t even see it as taking a risk, I just see it as staying true to my heart and instinct.”
The honour has previously been presented to Vera Farmiga, Christoph Waltz and Peter Sarsgaard.
Kidman honoured at US festival
New mum Nicole Kidman says she wakes up every morning and thanks God for her “beautiful” life.
The Australian Oscar winner, who went through a high-profile divorce with Tom Cruise and suffered miscarriages, says life today could not be better.
“I’m very fortunate and very grateful because I have certainly lived my fair share of pain and loss,” Kidman told reporters on the red carpet at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival on Saturday.
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“So now to be where I am waking up in the morning going ‘Thank you, God’ is a very beautiful place to be existing.”
It was anything but peaceful outside Santa Barbara’s Arlington Theatre where Kidman made a rock star entrance in a black limousine.
Guarded by a team of bodyguards, several hundred screaming fans roared as she signed autographs.
Kidman was honoured at the festival with the Cinema Vanguard Award.
The actress says it is when she is at home with husband Keith Urban, two-year-old daughter Sunday Rose and new arrival Faith Margaret that she counts her blessings.
Kidman and Urban, both 43, surprised the world last month when they announced daughter, Faith Margaret Kidman Urban, was born to a surrogate mother on December 28 at Nashville’s Centennial Medical Centre.
Kidman and Urban are the biological parents.
Kidman said her country music star husband guided her to a “fortunate” life.
“It has a lot to do with the love that my husband and I work on every day,” Kidman said.
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival is traditionally a key stop for Oscar nominees ahead of the Academy Awards ceremony, giving hopefuls an extra shot of publicity days before members of the Academy fill out their ballots.
The Academy Awards ceremony will be held in Hollywood on February 27 and Kidman is nominated for a best actress Oscar for Rabbit Hole.
At the festival on Friday another Aussie Oscar nominee, Jacki Weaver, was honoured with a Virtuosos Award.
Last week Geoffrey Rush was honoured at the festival with the Montecito Award.
A Relaxed Evening With Nicole Kidman
At 43, despite almost 20 years under a glaring spotlight, Nicole Kidman has remained something of an enigma. She has had a varied career, from talented, adventurous young actress, to arguably the biggest female movie star/celebrity in Hollywood, what with her marriage to Tom Cruise and being named repeatedly one of People Magazines Most Beautiful People in the World.
On Saturday, she received the SBIFF Cinema Vanguard Award at a balcony-only Arlington, in a relaxed and revealing interview moderated by Roger Durling. Reflecting the audience, Ms. Kidman was casually elegant, a white dress adorning her statuesque, 5’11″ physique.
As the retrospective began, it quickly became clear that her primary identity is as an actress. Indeed, celebrity did not enter the discussion at any point. Moreover, a running theme throughout the evening was her need to explore, understand and portray the psychological forces that drive human behavior. It was an echoing of Julianne Moore’s statement in an SBIFF tribute last year, that “behavior is beautiful”.
An immediate focus was her extraordinarily varied career choices. Her highlight reel was uniquely broad, covering domestic drama, horror, action, historical drama, political thriller, musical, quirky character study, black comedy, and conceptual biography.
As a frame for those choices, she noted that her background was avant-garde theater and philosophy, and that she is attracted to “films that pose philosophical questions”. In defining the criteria by which she selects roles, she said she “needs to be able to delve into the psychology of a character, and it needs to be a labyrinth”.
Ms. Kidman also highlighted her attraction to projects based on the director. She called directors “modern day philosophers”, and playfully noted that she finds obsessive compulsiveness attractive in a director, if not in a husband. Similar to other actresses, she spoke of the need to serve the director’s vision. What makes her different is that, as a producer, she now has the power, in some cases, to select the directors she serves, as she did with John Cameron Mitchell, an unlikely choice to direct Rabbit Hole.
In that film, she delivered a searing and emotionally nuanced performance, and received an Oscar nomination as Best Actress. When asked about her choice to play such a harrowing role at a time when her personal life seems relatively content, she said “this is what people are going through” – conveying an artistic obligation to portray the grief of a mother mourning the death of her son, despite the discomfort playing such a role might cause. She also simply but eloquently noted, “grief relates to love – the deeper the grief, the greater the love”.
Ms. Kidman went on to passionately describe her reverence for the process of acting. A video of Christian Bale having an on set meltdown was released on You Tube. About that incident, she said that the “video should never have been released. What happens on a set is sacred.” And that freedom from immediate scrutiny was necessary to “keep art dangerous”.
As the evening unfolded, she discussed her roles in The Hours (she was incredibly depressed at the time, and her mood is reflected in her performance), the Birth (she tried to back out, not wanting to play a mother who kills her children, but found a perspective that made it work), Moulin Rouge (Baz Luhrman sold her on the idea, long before there was a film) and Eyes Wide Shut (“Tom worked for 400 days on that film, not wanting to let Stanley down”).
While there were no overtly dramatic moments, the evening revealed a refreshing thoughtfulness and normalcy about Nicole Kidman and, ultimately, her profound love of acting.