I'm so current, I'm tomorrow.
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: The City by the Lake.
Nicole Kidman's Date With Oscar (Movie Review: 'The Hours')
The 2003 Oscar race gathered steam last Thursday
evening when a couple hundred select New Yorkers were
treated to a special advance screening of The Hours,
Paramount's highly-touted big-screen adaptation of
Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel
starring Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman and Julianne
Moore. The majority of the post-show buzz focused on
Kidman, whose stunning transformation into homely
British writer Virginia Woolf left the standing room
only crowd utterly speechless — save for the words,
"And the Oscar should go to... "
Believe it or not, Kidman — who netted her first
Academy Award nod for last year's movie musical Moulin
Rouge — nearly backed out at the 11th hour. "I was
very, very frightened, because [I thought], 'If this
doesn't work, I'm really going to have egg on my
face,'" the 35-year-old actress tells TV Guide. "But
[director] Stephen Daldry just said, 'Be bold.' And he
basically took my hand and guided me."
Actually, Daldry — who helmed 2000's beloved ballet
drama Billy Elliot — did more than that: He summoned
make-up artists to fit Kidman with a long false nose.
And from that point on, all signs of the former Mrs.
Tom Cruise vanished. "The minute the nose went on, you
saw a completely different actor," marvels
screenwriter David Hare, who adapted Cunningham's
novel for the screen. "By putting on the nose, Nicole
ceases to be pretty. And by losing pretty, she gains
Cunningham downplays the physical side of Kidman's
metamorphosis. "It is helped by a wig and a plastic
nose, but that's only one percent of it. It's all
about what she was able to do," he maintains. "I think
Nicole, if anything, exceeded my vision of what
Virginia Woolf might have been like. I can't believe
how good she is."
Gossip queen Liz Smith — one of the media power
mongers invited to Thursday's Hours preview — singled
out Kidman in her syndicated newspaper column Monday.
"It is rare for a hugely sexy, young and adorable
superstar to transcend fame and publicity and
disappear into a character, but Nicole has done it,"
she raved. "Her physical impersonation alone demands
recognition, because you forget all about Nicole
Kidman while watching [the film]."
Kudos of a more official nature will likely be
showered on the Aussie superstar come February, when
Oscar nominations are announced. Like a kid awaiting
the arrival of St. Nick, Kidman admits a second
consecutive nod would be a fantasy come true. "As a
kid, I watched the Oscars," she says. "I sat in the
living room in my dressing gown and would watch it
from Sydney. I think what's so beautiful about the
Oscars is they let you dream. If I got nominated, I'd