Few have enjoyed a career as long and varied as Nicole Kidman’s.
Since the age of 16, the Academy Award-winning actress has graced the big screen in projects highlighting her diversity and, in 2014, she shows no signs of slowing down.
Nicole Kidman with Colin Firth in ‘The Railway Man’
In her latest screen outing ‘The Railway Man’, she plays Patti Lomax, alongside Colin Firth in the title role of Eric Lomax. In the film, newly married Patti persuades her traumatised husband to reveal the depths of his despair over his brutal treatment during the war and return to the place of his trauma, and the man who caused it.
‘The Railway Man’ is released on DVD and Blu-Ray on Monday 5 May – here’s a look back at some of the highlights of Nicole Kidman’s illustrious career – what’s been your favourite Nicole moment so far?
Dead Calm (1989)
Kidman first emerged into the international spotlight in the Australian thriller Dead Calm, where she held her own opposite established stars Sam Neill and Billy Zane. The actress earned rave reviews for her portrayal of Rae, wife to Neill’s naval officer John Ingram. After the loss of their son, the grieving couple takes to the Pacific, only to happen across the lone survivor (Zane) of a mysterious shipwreck. The film was incredibly well-received and cemented Kidman as an actress to watch.
Batman Forever (1995)
Following the success of her American debut Days of Thunder (1990) alongside then boyfriend Tom Cruise, Kidman joined Val Kilmer in Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever where she played resident love interest Chase Meridian. Despite mixed reviews, the film would become one of the highest grossing films of the year.
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
After a string of poorly received films like The Peacemaker (1997) and Practical Magic (1998), Kidman teamed up with then husband Tom Cruise on the big screen for a third time as married couple Bill and Alice Harford. Stanley Kubrick’s final film, a dark journey into a seedy underworld of hedonism, was subjected to heavy editing in order to receive its R rating in the United States. The film also reveals Kidman at her most vulnerable.
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Perhaps her most popular role to date, Kidman delivered a nuanced performance as the ill-fated courtesan Satine opposite Ewan McGregor in Moulin Rouge! Helmed by fellow Aussie Baz Luhrmann, who was still reeling from the success of Romeo + Juliet (1996), the film was a critical and box office smash. A demanding role, which also required Kidman to showcase her singing talents, the actress garnered her second Golden Globe nomination, as well as her first Academy Award nomination.
The Others (2001)
In a pitch-perfect performance for which she received her second BAFTA nomination, Kidman plays Grace Stewart, a devout, lonely woman mired in a haunted mansion with her two sickly children. The psychological thriller scored international accolades, from the Goya Awards to the BAFTA Awards, and marked Kidman as both a critical darling and bankable leading actress, despite Jodie Foster being the first choice for leading lady (she had to drop out due to an injury sustained during the filming of David Fincher’s thriller Panic Room).
The Hours (2002)
In the performance that won her the Academy Award for Best Actress, Kidman plays troubled writer Virginia Woolf, as she struggled with depression and mental health issues. The Stephen Daldry film opened to widespread acclaim and come award season, was drowned in nominations. For her part, Kidman scooped up almost all the notable acting awards, but was perhaps best remembered for donning a prosthetic nose.
In Lars Von Trier’s unconventional parable Dogville, Kidman plays the lead Grace Mulligan, who stumbles upon a small American town as she flees from mobsters. But it soon becomes clear that she might not be as safe as she initially believed. The actress’s filmography has always been varied, but here she proved her willingness to experiment, working with a director famed for putting his actors through the mixer.
Rabbit Hole (2010)
Kidman endured another handful of commercial failures like she did in the nineties, including The Stepford Wives (2004) and Bewitched (2005), but soon regained her footing with Rabbit Hole where she starred opposite Aaron Eckhart as a mother trying to cope with the loss of her young son. The performance earned her a third Academy Award nomination and seemed to usher in a daring new era for the actress.
In Oldboy director Chan-wook Park’s English language debut Stoker, Kidman turns in a captivating performance as lonely, grieving widow Evelyn Stoker, who is desperately attracted to her brother-in-law Charlie (Matthew Goode). Following her husband’s mysterious death, Evelyn invites the enigmatic Charlie to move in with her and her 18-year-old daughter India. Trouble ensues almost immediately. Stoker is just the latest in a series of bold moves by the actress, who had previously scored incredible reviews for her mesmerizing turn in Lee Daniel’s The Paperboy (2012).
The Railway Man (2014)
Kidman plays Patti Lomax, the wife of British Army Officer Eric, who was sent to a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in 1942. Providing support for her friend-turned-husband, Kidman plays Lomax with a reassuring slant, a fervent presence in Eric’s life, and somebody who he can rely on. Rachel Weisz was originally slated to play the role, but Kidman stepped in after she was forced to drop out due to scheduling conflicts; as it stands, she makes the role her own. <strong>The Railway Man is released on Blu-ray and DVD on 5 May 2014 from Lionsgate Home Entertainment </strong>
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