#48 NICOLE KIDMAN
1967 - present
ESSENTIAL FILMS: Dead Calm (1989), To Die For (1995), Moulin Rouge (2001), The others (2001), The Hours (2002)
OSCAR DISH: Two nominations; one win, for The Hours. Other nomination: Moulin Rouge
DVD YOU HAVE TO SEE RIGHT NOW: Lars Von Trier's Dogville (2004) - it's Kidman, unplugged
With the face of a cameo and hair like spun-gold, Nicole Kidman looks like she stepped out of a fairy tale, and her early Hollywood career was one. After her turn as a high-seas hostage in Dead Calm, the Aussie actress was hand-picked by the prince of Hollywood to be his newest co-star (and, later, his wife). That the film was a drama about a race-car driver in which she'd play a brain surgeon, well, call it the first thorn. Kidman's stateside roles did not match the promise of Dead Calm; she was a movie star's wife, not a movie star.
Then came Gus Van Sant's dark comedy To Die For, in which Kidman, as a fame-starved weather girl who cons her teenage lover into killing her husband, exhibited rather nasty cynicism and razor-sharp comic timing. Pretty princess? Think again. In the late 90's, near the end of her marriage to Tom Cruise, she began a run of knockout performances that displayed her wit, sensitivity, brazenness, and the streak of independence that keeps her testing her range. Who needs a prince?
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