Top 3 Favorite Nicole Kidman Roles

This post is for the current LAMB Acting School 101 on Nicole Kidman.  As I haven’t got a chance to catch up on a ton of her work (as I’ve mentioned here), I decided to just choose the top three favorite roles of the 11 films I’ve seen her in so far.

I actually include Nicole in my Movie Alphabet I did recently as I generally quite like her and I think she’s one of the most glamorous Hollywood actress working today. I included her in the Honorable Mentions in my Top 10 Hottest Aussie Actors, but in hindsight, I’d probably swap Sam Worthington with her as I’m not too fond of him lately.

I do think Nicole should lay off on the Botox and not be so obsessed with looking perfect as she ends up looking so plastic with scary lips! I mean the statuesque 5’11” actress looked so fresh when she was starting out, with her freckles and glorious curly red hair. I mean just look at her photos from then and now…

In any case, she is a talented actress and I give her props for trying out different genres and not afraid to portray morally-ambiguous, even down-right evil characters. I thought she was pretty good in the far-more-watchable Joel Schumacher Batman movie Batman Forever with Val Kilmer. An interesting trivia – She has co-starred with four actors who’ve played Batman in a movie: In My Life (1993) with Michael Keaton, Batman Forever (1995) with Val Kilmer, The Peacemaker (1997) with George Clooney and The Portrait of a Lady (1996) with Christian Bale.

I’m looking forward to seeing more of her work, especially her Oscar-winning performance in The Hours, as well as her most recent ones such as Hemingway & Gellhorn with Clive Owen and her role as the eternal beauty Grace Kelly in Grace of Monaco.

Anyway, without further ado, here are my picks of Nicole’s Top 3 performances:

To Die For (1995)

I saw this years ago but was impressed by her fearless performance as a ruthless TV personality who’s willing to get what she wants, no matter what the cost, even killing her own husband! She’s the ultimate femme fatale: seductive and dangerous! Apparently she fought to get this role and was quite relentless in that pursuit, even tracking down director Gus Van Sant & calling him personally. Well, it paid off and I think she won a Golden Globe for her performance. Joaquin Phoenix turned in a memorable performance as well.

Moulin Rouge! (2001)

I adore this film and it stands as one of my all-time favorite musicals. I wasn’t sure about the pairing of Ewan McGregor and Nicole at first, but they both wowed me here. Not only did they sound fabulous singing together, they also have excellent chemistry here. Nicole was appropriately sultry as an elite courtesan, but she also displays her comic timing in the scene where Satine first met Ewan’s character whom she thought was the Duke in her bedroom! She also conveys believable pathos towards the third part of the film, displaying her versatility as an actress.

Far & Away (1992)

She’s done three films with her ex-husband Tom Cruise but I pick this one as I don’t think I’ll be seeing Eyes Wide Shut and I barely remember Days of Thunder. I actually saw this on the big screen with my brother years ago and I remember really enjoying it. Ok, the Irish accent is all over the place but I like the feisty chemistry between her and Cruise, she was quite feisty in her role and she still has that fresh-face look with her red curly hair.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

NINE – She’s not my favorite female actress in this film (that would be Marion Cottilard) but I thought she was pretty good as Claudia, as the muse of Daniel Day-Lewis’ Guido. She has a beautiful voice and definitely suits the glamorous but icy demeanor that her role requires.


Well, that’s my favorite list so far, I might update this once I see more of Nicole’s films. What do you think of my picks?

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56 thoughts on “Top 3 Favorite Nicole Kidman Roles

  1. I had a feeling that Moulin Rouge would be here on this list! Glad to see you included it.

    I think I would include her role in “Cold Mountain” as one of her best to be sure. Can’t wait to hear your thoughts on “The Hours.”

    But Ruth, there’s no mention of Batman Forever in this post! ;)

    • Hello T! Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving man, and got a bit of rest from the craze of Black Friday week :) I’ll be over to your blog tomorrow as I’m catching up on blog reading myself.

      I haven’t seen Cold Mountain yet, there are still a lot I need to catch up on. I actually did mention ‘Batman Forever,’ but it definitely isn’t even worth including that on the list :)

  2. yes. my comment should read “there’s no HONORABLE mention of Batman Forever in this post!” …jokingly implying that it deserves an honorable mention. haha.

    there was no way to edit it after I pressed “post comment” but i figured “oh well.” :D

      • Got it T :) Sorry to hear that you had to work so much this past weekend, I guess it’s the busiest days for retail business eh? Hope you managed to get some time to relax though. Well my Thanksgiving was nice, quite mellow as I didn’t have to work at all. I did spend some time shopping + packing for my trip coming up in a couple of weeks.

  3. My top 5 favorite Nicole Kidman performances are:

    1. To Die For
    2. Moulin Rouge!
    3. Eyes Wide Shut
    4. Rabbit Hole
    5. Far and Away

  4. I also wasn’t able watch all of her films i wanted, but for me her performance in Eyes Wide Shut will always be my favorite.

    I think my post for the LAMB event came out a bit rushed, but i hope you give it a look :)

    • Also, i am looking forward to watching her performance in Stoker. I tried to watch the Paperboy in theaters with a friend(The one i rewatched Eyes Wide Shut with a while back), but around where i live it seemed to play for only 1-2 weeks and then disappeared so i wasn’t able to :(

      • That’s a bummer about The Paperboy, Julian. Sounds like another fearless performance from her a la To Die For. Have you seen that one btw? You might like that one as she played a femme fatale.

  5. I love Nicole Kidman. She’s great in Moulin Rouge! and I love her in The Hours, Rabbit Hole and Dogville. I thought she was good in Nine but nothing to get excited about. Just a little thing: she doesn’t play Guido’s wife. That was Marion Cotillard. Anyway, it looks like she’ll turn in another great performance in Stoker.

    • I still have to see The Hours and Rabbit Hole. Oh yeah, I realized about that after I posted it, I’ve fixed that now. Marion was great as the forlorn and lonely wife, her singing was great as well that’s why she was my fave.

      • Sorry, I hope you don’t mind that I corrected you :)

        And please The Hours and Rabbit Hole. Great acting in those two movies. They’re depressing but very good.

        I love Marion in Nine. She was one of the highlights for me. Such a talented and gorgeous woman.

        • Oh no, thanks for doing that, my mistake :) I will see those two for sure, I saw both the trailers and was very intrigued.

          Yes I’m not overly fond of NINE but Marion was superb. Her two musical segments were my favorite from the film, she conveyed pathos in her electrifying performance.

          • Good to know. Some people are so touchy about that and take it personal. If you ever spot a typo or anything in one of my reviews, make sure to let me know as well.

            About Nine, I also loved Judi Dench (as always) and Penélope Cruz (as always) :D

            • Not at all Fernando, I actually appreciate people pointing out any misspell or error, so thanks for that. Yes I’ll return the courtesy :)

              Oh yeah Dame Judi was wonderful in it but not fond of Cruz’s character even though she was good in that role.

  6. I don’t mind Nicole Kidman, like you said she’s always willing to tackle different genre. With that said, the last film I saw her in was The Others and that was over 10 years ago. She hasn’t done any movie that I wanted to see the last few years, I tried to sit through Cold Mountain but couldn’t make it past the 30 minutes mark. But I’ll for sure be seeing Stoker when it opens next year, not because of her, it’s Park Chan Wook’s first American film so I’m very curious if he can translate his style into the western film.

    BTW, do you still want to see The Peacemaker? I’ll bring it to work so you can burrow it.

    • Yeah that’s why I like her, she takes risks with her acting. I’m not all that interested in Cold Mountain so maybe I’ll just skip it, ahah. Ah yeah I heard about that project but I’m not as enthused about it as it’s probably gonna be violent w/ Wook.

      Yes I’d still want to see The Peacemaker. I’ll be back to work on Tuesday.

  7. Those lips are looking a little freakish these days, which is a shame as I think she was one of the best looking actresses around during her marriage with Tom Cruise. I recommend checking her out in Eyes Wide Shut if you haven’t already, she gives one of the greatest last words uttered in a film! I remember seeing her in Birthday Girl I think it was too but wasn’t overly impressed with that. I actually don’t mind Moulin Rouge either, it’s a good bit of fun.

    • Hi Terry, yes they are indeed. It is a shame when beautiful people actually butcher themselves like that. I’m a hundred times less beautiful than she is yet I’d never do that to my face! I don’t know which one is Birthday Girl, but I’m really not interested in Eyes Wide Shut.

  8. “To Die For” is just a great movie. Kidman’s performance is a highlight. It’s really one of the best satires on people who want to become famous for fame’s sake and one of the best media satires ever.

    I listened to the original short story “Eyes Wide Shut” is based on as an audio book. It’s a good story. Quite unique. “Eyes Wide Shut” focuses more on the relationship between the couple. The original title translates as “Dream Novella” and is quite surreal in parts. Worth checking out though. Maybe more so than the movie?

    • Yeah, she was really good as a femme fatale, I don’t know if she’s played anyone that evil after this. Crazy that it was actually based on a real person!

      Hmmm, I don’t know man, I’m just not that interested in that kind of story. Some things are worth skipping and I don’t think I’ll be missing out on Eyes Wide Shut.

  9. Hi, Ruth and company:

    I’m kind of the odd guy out when it comes to Ms. Kidman.

    I thought she rocked out loud as the egotistical narcissist Suzanne Stone in ‘To Die For’. Not only for her being a new fresh face and talent, but her ability to own the character as easily as she manipulated men. In what could be considered in some ways a modern Noir.

    Ms. Kidman’s seemed more framed and the focus of attention inside the lens of the cameras in later films. More to look at. Without the requisite definition needed to make a character noteworthy or memorable. Like a delicate vase you can gaze upon, but not touch.

    • Hello Jack! Yeah I think she was a noir-ish femme fatale, good catch there. I see your point about her looking too mannequin-like at times. I think her Chanel commercial was so overdone and it only amplify her ‘untouchable’ image. Not sure why she wants to portray herself that way, I mean her BFF Naomi Watts seems so much more earthy to me.

    • As I said in my comments above, I don’t feel like I’ll be missing out on EWS. Thanks for correcting me about her role in NINE, I’ve fixed that. I think my brain and my fingers were not in sync as I knew Marion played his wife :D

  10. Those side-by-side photos of young Nic and older Nic say it all, don’t they?

    The fascinating thing about her is how she’s alternated between big-budget studio movies and smaller indie movies. She’s worked with quite an eclectic variety of directors: Van Sant, Von Trier, Kubrick, Luhrman, and now the Korean ‘Oldboy’ director whose name escapes me at the moment. I daresay she’s one of the most daring actresses working today.

    • Indeed Rich, I couldn’t help doing a side by side comparison as she looks sooo different now.

      You’re right she does seem to jump from indie to bigger films, good for her! She doesn’t even mind doing an HBO TV movie there w/ Clive Owen. I’d agree with you about your last comment about her.

  11. Great choices! Far and Away is very underrated, I really enjoyed that movie. I agree she should cool it with plastic surgeries and stuff she used to be so lovely and now whenever she has a crying scene it looks pretty horrifying, if she won’t stop she will turn into Tori Amos :/

    • Glad to hear you like Far & Away. Oh I haven’t seen Tori Amos lately but yeah, Kidman is more beautiful without all the enhancements, too bad she doesn’t realize that and cave in to the pressure of the business.

  12. Oddly enough, I haven’t seen that many Kidman movies over the years. I think she was quite good in Cold Mountain. She also had a great part in Moulin Rouge. I wanna see Rabbit Hole at some point too

    • I haven’t either Cas, that’s why I couldn’t even do a top 5 :) Glad you have seen Moulin Rouge! though. I am curious about Rabbit Hole as well though the subject matter seems rather depressing.

  13. Hey you pick Far & Away too! She was just very outspoken and funny, I too love the chemistry. I think I have to watch To Die For at some point, many people said that was her best role.

    Too bad for the Botox, yeah, I saw her photo where her lips looked swollen. I don’t think she needs any of that, she is already beautiful.

  14. I wouldn’t say a favorite, but I quite enjoyed her appearance on Adam Sandler’s Just Go With It. She was so different from any other characters she’s done, it was very refreshing to see her made fun of herself.

    I agree with the botox thing. It is such a shame because she is already so gorgeous! I hope Keith will be able to talk some sense into her some day..

    • Hi Wulan, pa kabar? Arey you gonna join me, Novia & others for a meet up on Dec 13? It’ll be fun to see you too.

      I had no idea Nicole had been in a movie with Adam Sandler! Yeah I hope she won’t do too much of the Botox stuff anymore.

  15. it’s a shame on her botox obsession…I agree with you completly about her being so fresh when she was younger, she looked elegant.

    I haven’t seen Moulin Rouge yet…but I want to because it also has Ewan.

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