Nicole Kidman should have won her first Best Supporting Actress Oscar nomination today for The Paperboy. The actress already has three under her belt 2001’s Best Actress nomination for Moulin Rouge! (the same year she was also infinitely-nominatable The Others), 2002’s Best Actress win for her “Virginia Woolf” in The Hours, and a nomination for 2010’s Rabbit Hole, and following SAG and Golden Globe nominations, many thought she was a lock for a nomination today. However, history tells us that Kidman’s finest work is almost always left off Oscar’s list.
Lee Daniels’ film finds Kidman at her most fearless, as “Charlotte Bless”, playing a modern incarnation of a tawdry, forgotten woman that might have been written by Tennessee Williams. Kidman’s deep fried portrait of Charlotte, in fact, feels heavily influenced by and rooted in great theater. She’s desperate, she’s bawdy and loud to the point of being unlikable at times and downright disturbing as the character descends into unavoidable darkness and Charlotte becomes doomed and knows it. Kidman evokes “Mildred Rogers” of Somerset Maugham’s Of Human Bondage, in her hyper-aggressive sexuality and vulgarity and the tragedy of “Lorna Moon” of Clifford Odets’ Golden Boy. There are traces of “Chrissy” from David Rabe’s In the Boom Boom Room. Kidman brings an astute understanding of how to build a character and immerse herself in the work that elevates her interpretation of Charlotte from being dismissed as simple pulp.
Her risque, operatic work in this bonkers movie begs the question: when will Academy voters finally catch on that Nicole Kidman is the premiere actress of her generation?
Statuesque takes a look back to reveal just how many times Oscar voters have historically, unjustly overlooked her finest work. Just for fun, let’s go on a walk down memory lane to remind them of some of the most legendary Nicole performances that they failed to recognize and should have nominated.
To Die For (1995)
Portrait of a Lady (1996)
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
Cold Mountain (2003)
Birth & Dogville (2004)
Margot at the Wedding (2008)
What are your favorites from La Kidman?