Sunday, June 22, 2008

Popcorn & Cigarettes Hall of Fame - Nicole Kidman!

Welcome to the very first inductee to the Popcorn & Cigarettes Hall of Fame! We will be doing this every so often to highlight and honor some of the best and brightest actors, directors, writers, and anyone else who contributes to the film industry. Hopefully you guys will send in some suggestions for new ones, and comment on them as well!

So first up I, Cigarettes, have chosen Nicole Kidman. Mostly because she is one of my all time favorite actresses, but also because it was her birthday just recently (Happy Belated Nicole!) and she has a new movie coming out this year which looks all kinds of exciting.

Nicole Mary Kidman was born on June 20, 1967 in Honolulu, Hawaii to Dr. Anthony Kidman and Janelle Kidman. The family moved to Washington, D.C. soon after her birth and three years later they relocated to Sydney, Australia. While still a child she took up ballet, mime, and acting. Eventually she began to pursue acting over the other arts while attending high school (with fellow classmate and friend Naomi Watts). She began to study at the Phillip Street Theater in Sydney where she once received a letter of praise from an audience member Jane Campion (who was a film student at the time).

She went on to star in Dead Calm with Sam Neill and Billy Zane in 1989, which was her first major film in America. She continued to work in film, but it wasn't until Gus Van Sant's To Die For, that she garnered a Golden Globe for her work.

She was nominated for an Academy Award in 2002, for her work in Moulin Rouge!, but it was her work in The Hours in the following year that would claim the Best Actress Oscar.

She has continued to make some damn fine films over her career, which now spans almost twenty years on the American screen. Although her films might span from everything in between great and trash, I find that her characters are almost always compelling and interesting to watch. She is a brilliant actress and has some excellent work behind her, and hopefully more to come (which seems highly likely to me). Her future projects include Australia, Need, and Nine.

Australia, the next film from Baz Luhrmann (who collaborated with Nicole on Moulin Rouge!) is scheduled to hit theatres on November 14. The $120 Million project is centered around an aristocrat by the name of Lady Sarah Ashley (Kidman) who inherits a cattle ranch the size of Maryland. She hires a cattle driver named Drover (played by Hugh Jackman) when she discovers that cattle barons plan to take over her land. The film is set prior to, and during World War II, when Australia was still under the threat of attack by Japanese air fleets.

So the trailer hit the internet awhile back (for those of you who missed it, it can be seen here) and it just looks stunning. This film looks so beautiful, I don't think anyone will be skipping out on seeing this on the big screen. Promotion has already begun on this film (July's Vogue has our lady Nicole gracing the cover) and it also looks fantastic. (In case you're wondering some of those photos are littered all over this post.) I know I will be seeing this on the week it comes out, and hopefully it will be a certified hit, because both Kidman and Jackman certainly could use one (remember this and this?).

Need is the new film from director Ryan Murphy who wrote, produced, and directed 2006's Running With Scissors. What is special about this project is that it will be the first time Nicole Kidman and her good friend Naomi Watts will pair up together for a project onscreen. [SPOILERS] The film centers around a suicidal woman (Kidman) who is infatuated with her very successful psychiatrist (Watts). Little does the woman know that the psychiatrist's marriage is on the rocks due to her cold and controlling nature. She meets the psychiatrist's husband in a bar, and they begin an affair, and upon discovering the truth, the psychiatrist seeks revenge and disregards personal ethics. Sounds like something I want to watch. Watts vs. Kidman. [/SPOILERS]

And finally, the last of her upcoming projects (for now) is the film Nine directed by Rob Marshall, the guy who brought us Memoirs of a Geisha and Chicago. Nine is based on the stage musical of the same name, which is based on the Federico Fellini film . The cast of the film is stunning and awe-inspiring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Nicole Kidman, Marion Cotillard, Sophia Loren, Penélope Cruz, and Dame Judi Dench.

With all of this news it looks like fans of Nicole Kidman will be having some pretty good times in the theatres in the upcoming year. Hooray for our first inductee into the Popcorn & Cigarettes Hall of Fame!

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