Nicole Kidman movies

Nicole Kidman’s Cinema Parade – 11 Movies featuring this wonderful actress

Throughout cinema history, we count thousands of actresses who have lit up all kinds of movies with their gorgeousness, but how many of them, besides being beautiful, also have Nicole Kidman‘s talent?

This stunning Australian woman won the hearts of the public around the world with increasingly challenging acting efforts in stories that did not always necessarily follow current fashions.

Indeed, starting from being simply known as Tom Cruise‘s wife, year after year, she succeeded in not only catching up with but also vastly surpassing the fame of her husband, who today is merely a nostalgic icon continually put forward in dull action movies without soul or ideas.

A fortress she patiently built brick by brick, movie after movie, going from being a pretty girl with a strange accent fit for any role to becoming one of the most well-known women in Hollywood and founding her own film production company, Blossom Films.

So then, with all that being said, what is it about the beautiful Nicole so different from the many other wannabe divas trying to work their way through the crowd to get to the forefront of the silver screen?

Perhaps it’s something beyond passion and self-confidence, with a chameleon-like ability to play such a diverse multitude of roles in a way that is always original, convincing, and exciting… maybe we’re talking about natural “charisma,” which is something that if you don’t have it, you can’t learn or buy anywhere.

Let’s try to understand it together by looking at 11 movies ranging from the 1980s to the present day, 11 stories remarkably different but all with the common thread of having this immense and multiform actress as a leading lady.

The Northman (2022)

The Northman 2022 movie
Amazon Prime Video

Let’s begin with a movie where Nicole Kidman plays a woman as strong and beautiful as morally ambiguous, namely the troubled Prince Hamlet‘s twisted mother, one of the best-known tragedies written by William Shakespeare, here transposed in a mythological key amid the Norwegian Viking barbarians.

The tragedy begins in childhood for little Amleth, who must flee after seeing his uncle Fjolnir mercilessly kill his father, King Aurvandil.

Believed dead, the little prince joins a fierce clan of berserkr raiders, who welcome him into their ranks and initiate him into the bloody joys of battle, raiding villages and kidnapping their inhabitants to sell them back as slaves.

Still, fate is not done with him, so when he finds out the whereabouts of the village where his traitor uncle has settled, Amleth pretends to be a slave so he can infiltrate his men and finally have his revenge.

The Northman is the latest achievement of Robert Eggers, a director who, in less than a decade since his debut with the dazzling The Witch and confirmation with the hypnotic and wicked The Lighthouse, took his place firmly among the modern vanguard of cinema’s elite.

Arguably, the cast is top-notch, with young mountain of muscle Alexander Skarsgård as the main protagonist and the gorgeous Anya Taylor-Joy as his fellow adventurer and veteran Ethan Hawke in the brief ungrateful role of the slaughtered father.

Eggers brings Shakespeare to the screen with his usual cold, violent, yet elegantly impeccable style, where the goddess Nicole Kidman becomes the queen and mother of the unstoppable lone avenger.

It is a tremendous colossal that I have already recommended among the best of 2022, and I recommend it again today with great pleasure and satisfaction.

Being the Ricardos (2021)

Being the Ricardos 2021 Nicole Kidman movies
Amazon Prime Video

With this movie, let’s recount a piece of American history, where Nicole Kidman plays the uncomfortable role of Lucille Ball, a successful actress and victim of the anti-communist hysteria of the 1950s.

Together with her husband, Desi Arnaz, they were one of the audience’s most beloved couples in the series I Love Lucy, a famous comedy show reuniting Desi and Lucille in one of the most challenging moments of their troubled marriage.

Known for her talent, as well as being a pain in the ass to everyone she worked with, she constantly demanded excellence standards at every stage of production and fought against sponsors interference, such as tobacco giant Philip Morris.

Perhaps that is why the authorities tried so mightily to condemn her, being unacceptable during the Ronald Reagan epoch to be a powerful woman or even to have a mere Communist Party card.

Fortunately, Lucille could avoid the injustices and prison sentences of colleagues such as Lester Cole or Dalton Trumbo, the latter ironically winning no less than two Oscars as a screenwriter, though, of course, under an alias.

Indeed, the actress even became one of the first women running a television studioDesilu Productions, out of which came actual cult TV shows such as MannixStar Trek, and Mission Impossible.

Directing this lavish biopic is Aaron Sorkin, already familiar with staging the lives of headstrong and successful women after the splendid Molly’s Game, where Jessica Chastain played the underground poker queen, Molly Bloom.

Nicole Kidman rises to the arduous task again in her struggle against the system and her trust/doubt relationship with Javier Bardem, charming as the Cuban singer Desi, the love and haunts of Lucille’s life.

It was a real-life moment so absurd that we wish it were fake, but unfortunately, it all happened for real.

Bombshell (2019)

Bombshell 2019 movie
Amazon Prime Video

We remain in America’s TV world, this time on the news and political opinion program side.

In this movie, Nicole Kidman plays Gretchen Carlson, a famous anchorwoman to be the first to trigger an earthquake-shaking Fox News office halls, the loudest voice on the conservative media front.

Despite being a respected news anchor, she was fired one day without notice because of her repeated stances against women’s objectification and, most notably, a scathing comment against gun sales abuse in the United States.

Naturally, Gretchen turned to lawyers, who advised her not to target Fox and instead sue for sexual harassment Roger Ailes, senior CEO who literally laid the foundation of the network on behalf of big boss Rupert Murdoch.

This expose was like the pebble that dislodged a giant landslide, finally breaking the wall of silence and convincing dozens of women to join the lawsuit and testify about the many abuses they suffered at Fox.

After initial skepticism, all the media could do was report the stark facts: from mandatory miniskirts to see-through desks with legs on display to the scandalous behind-closed-doors harassment Ailes perpetrated on every pretty girl, threatening to ruin the careers of anyone refusing his lame advances.

However, director Jay Roach continues to work with cinematic truth without leaving aside excellent pacing and bitter irony, especially after the already excellent previous biopic on the darker period of genius screenwriter Dalton Trumbo.

Besides Kidman, the stunning Charlize Theron and Margot Robbie close the circle for a trio of women humiliated but finally determined to strike back in an enlightening story and a horrendous affair on which it is always good to reflect lest we forget.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017)

The Killing of a Sacred Deer 2017 movie
Amazon Prime Video

Let’s drop the truth to dive into a fantasy story with dark horror tones, where the most hidden truths behind our society and families still come to the surface.

In this movie, Nicole Kidman plays Anna Murphy, the wife of a respected doctor and mother of two happy children.

Until her husband Steven starts dating the young, introverted Martin, a lonely boy who develops a strange obsession with him.

However, when their son begins to feel ill, becoming paralyzed in bed, the truth is finally revealed: Martin believes that Steven killed his father during a hospital procedure gone wrong.

So compensation imposes a curse, and Steven will have to kill a member of his family; otherwise, his son’s illness will spread to each of them.

If we started by quoting Robert Eggers, we must undoubtedly place Yorgos Lanthimos side by side as the author of the most disturbing and original of modern horror flicks, made in an entirely classical style but revamped by a spirit decidedly more rooted in today’s cinema.

It is a horror film that disquiets and infuses unease without the need for exaggerated explosions of madness and violence, but somewhat shocking with a story anchored in the realism of a family condemned to hopeless hell.

Besides the frantic and helpless Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell stars in the best role of his career, so radically different in almost robotic acting from the usually exaggerated, histrionic, energy-laden characters of so many other movies.

Equally maddening is young Barry Keoghan, a lucid psychopath who pays with an imaginative as well as cruel punishment to the man he believes has ruined his life.

In short, an outstanding movie that sways between horror and psychological thriller, where survival comes up against choices and sacrifices for the love of family.

Stoker (2013)

Stoker 2013 movie
Amazon Prime Video

Another movie, another psychological horror directed by another cinematic genius from faraway South KoreaPark Chan-wook, the celebrated director known primarily for his cynical and unforgiving Vengeance Trilogy.

A thrilling and scary saga begins with Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, continues with Oldboy (undoubtedly the most famous), and concludes with Lady Vengeance.

Yet all this time later, we can find remnants of it in the plot of this 2013 movie, where Nicole Kidman plays the lonely Evelyn, the mother of the complicated girl India, and the recent widow of her husband, Richard.

After her father’s death, India becomes even more withdrawn while the mysterious uncle Charlie, away from home for years, shows up at their door and seems to want to replace her father at Evelyn’s side.

But when some women, who had been pestering him with inappropriate questions about his past, disappear into thin air, India realizes that her uncle is actually a dangerous serial killer.

Even worse, the girl must accept her secret urge to kill, which her father had tried to help her control, but which she is now finally free of all moral restraints.

Park Chan-wook doesn’t divide into good and bad guys, and Nicole Kidman certainly bears the brunt of the toughest role in this bizarre family tragedy, with the classic flavor of such movies as Shadow of a Doubt, where not surprisingly, another dangerous Uncle Charlie return home.

Equally good is the performance of the very young Mia Wasikowska, whose career would later be launched to the top by continuing with directors such as Jim JarmuschDavid Cronenberg, or Guillermo del Toro.

It’s like the established actress in the star system passing the flashlight to the new crop of cinema, and what a great pair on screen!

The Interpreter (2005)

The Interpreter 2005 Nicole Kidman movies
Amazon Prime Video

The next movie has special significance, being an excellent mystery starring the winning couple Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn and the latest entry in the filmography of the superb director Sydney Pollack.

In this case, our favorite is Silvia Broome, a translator and interpreter working on speeches by visiting politicians at the UN building in New York.

One evening, she overstays her hours and happens to overhear a conversation in Matobian, her native language, about a plan to assassinate President Zuwanie.

Indeed, within a few days, Zuwanie must arrive at the UN to answer accusations of brutality and genocide by his army, so the Secret Service puts agent Tobin Keller on her tail.

Investigating, Keller suspects that this story may be a fabrication by Silvia, who lost her entire family in the Matobo civil war and, therefore, may want to see the president convicted.

However, when a stranger tries to kill her, Keller becomes convinced of her fears and begins to feel increasingly strongly about her, something that goes beyond the simple duty of protecting her.

Pollack takes us back to the days of the famous Three Days of the Condor, updating the system to the modern era with a movie where Nicole Kidman is a fragile anti-femme fatale perfectly supported by the silent and impenetrable Sean Penn.

Suppose half the merits go to the director’s skill in handling narrative timing in his usual essential and compelling style; the other half certainly goes to the leading couple in this love story that we will never see fully fulfilled.

It is an eye-popping interplay from the first to the last minute, beyond a perhaps trite and revisable plot at some junctures, for one of the most intimate and intriguing spy movies of recent years.

Birthday Girl (2001)

Birthday Girl 2001 Nicole Kidman movies
Amazon Prime Video

Let’s move on to another love story with a movie where this time Nicole Kidman is Nadia, a beautiful Russian immigrant who arrives on order (sort of) when John Buckingham, a lonely English banker, visits a website for lonely hearts.

The early days are not easy for the new couple because she does not speak English, just as he does not speak Russian, but soon they find common ground in bed where they understand each other much better.

However, after heaven passes, one day, Alexei and Yuri, a couple of old friends from faraway Russia, show up uninvited, intending to mooch in their home indefinitely.

Faced with John’s evident refusal, the criminals force him to rob his bank, while Nadia reveals that she understands the language just fine and that this is a scam the little group has been running for quite some time.

So John and Nadia have no choice but to chase the criminals and recover the loot before they both end up handcuffed and not in the way they like it when they have sex.

To date, Birthday Girl remains the only movie by Jez Butterworth, otherwise screenwriter since the 1990s, who is lucky to have an excellent cast to compensate for the low budget.

Nicole Kidman is astonishing for almost the entire movie without saying a single word, with a convincing and funny Ben Chaplin as an everyman blessed/cursed by the mysterious Russian guest.

Finally, let’s remember the sly Vincent Cassel to play the violent villain on duty, along with fellow Mathieu Kassovitz, an excellent director and actor.

Romance, a bit of bondage, sex, and interracial irony in profusion don’t think anything else is really needed to season the recipe of a film that is perfect for what it wants to be: simple.

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

Eyes Wide Shut 1999 Nicole Kidman movies
Amazon Prime Video

If we mention the last movie by Sydney Pollack, now we talk about the last step in the supreme Stanley Kubrick career and the last time Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise worked together as husband and wife.

In this story, too, the two stars play Bill and Alice, a young married couple from New York’s affluent class, seemingly with a perfect marriage without a care in the world and their little girl.

Except that, on their way back from a party where they have been separated for a long time, they chat amiably about a dashing gentleman and two young girls who have hit on both of them, realizing that there may be something unspoken in their relationship that hovers hidden without ever coming out.

Stunned by his wife’s revelations, Bill leaves home for a long journey that will take him through the most bizarre sexual situations among New York’s colorful fauna.

Starting with a widow aroused by her husband’s death and wandering among prostitutes and provocative daughters of iridescent shopkeepers, the naive man will arrive at a mysterious masquerade ball that is nothing more than a lavish orgy for the city’s ruling elite.

Kubrick sculpts what seemingly appears to be just a long, aimless journey, but one that brings to light all the differences between the social classes of an entire country through their foibles and sexual tendencies.

Kidman/Cruise are perfect to the point where you wonder if they really play or are a couple in crisis, and the late director Sydney Pollack, mentioned earlier plays a cynical role in showing us what it really means to have power and to decide the lives and deaths of others.

It is an incomplete film, but nonetheless unmissable as the swan song of an unparalleled genius of the cinematic world.

The Peacemaker (1997)

The Peacemaker 1997 movie
Amazon Prime Video

After so many different movies by such unique and original auteurs, we now turn to a typical (but gratifying) American-style action with good heroes against evil terrorists, where the real difference is the usual Nicole Kidman paired with George Clooney.

The sexy star plays the irrepressible Thomas Devoe, a U.S. Army colonel investigating a mysterious nuclear explosion that occurred on Soviet soil.

Thus, the government assembles a special task force to counter the emergency, including Dr. Julia Kelly, who quickly realizes something is amiss when she sees suspicious individuals leaving the scene just before the explosion.

The suspects are actually a disgruntled group of Russian military officers who unleashed the disaster to muddy the waters, steal the rest of the nukes, and resell them on the black market to the highest bidder.

Unfortunately, there is no shortage of demand for this item, and they find an interested customer in Dušan Gavrić, a former Yugoslav politician who blames the United States for the death of his family during the civil war and now wants revenge with a nuclear explosion in downtown New York.

Directing, we have Mimi Leder, who puts together a solid movie of explosions and chases that may not shine in originality or quality of writing, but it indeed entertains in every other cinematic respect.

The suspense remains high with a good balance between spectacular action and international investigation, where the adventurous George Clooney teams up with the more serious and strict Nicole Kidman in a fun, old-fashioned buddy movie.

Most critics probably judge it as a smoothie of clichés and stereotypes between evil Russians and heroic good Americans, but what can you do? It is still a show I have seen and always rewatch with great pleasure.

To Die For (1995)

To Die For 1995 Nicole Kidman movies
Amazon Prime Video

We return to what we can call “art cinema” with a movie by Gus Van Sant, where Nicole Kidman embodies the irresistible desire to be famous at any cost with her immense young beauty.

Indeed, she is the ambitious Suzanne Stone, a girl dissatisfied with her husband Larry, whom she exploits only to have the minimum wage of a comfortable life while she dreams of being on TV.

She gets a chance to show her face on screen as a weather announcer, but soon, that is not enough, so she starts looking for a real-life service to finally enter the news business.

To find something that will make a sensation, Suzanne prepares a small documentary by following a group of poor, underprivileged kids, convincing them through deception to get to death and murder.

The scoop works, and she becomes famous, but at that point, her husband wants her to drop everything and return to the family, not knowing that by defying his psychopathic wife in this way, he has practically signed her death warrant.

As usual, Gus Van Sant loves to narrate the most diverse misadventures on the fringes of society with characters who are eternal losers and, indeed, sink into drama the more they try to get out of their situation.

Nicole Kidman is a splendor with her innocent, angelic appearance hiding her chilling, lucid madness, just as good is Matt Dillon as a throwaway husband, an actor we will instead see as a frightening serial killer in The House That Jack Built, or the even more naive Joaquin Phoenix at the beginning of his brilliant career.

It is a beautiful black poem about that part of America that is not so bright and full of dreams, so even more in need of attention.

Dead Calm (1989)

Dead Calm 1989 Nicole Kidman movies
Amazon Prime Video

Let’s conclude by returning to the beginning, with the first movie where the stunning Nicole Kidman finally made her international mark.

The story begins in the calm waters of the Pacific with a classic married couple seeking some rest after a nasty accident involving the wife.

We well know, since this is a thriller, peace cannot last long: so everything changes when another ship appears on the horizon that is not responding to the radio and seems so battered that it is almost on the verge of sinking.

However, the boat is not empty because a young boy in an emergency lifeboat approaches, but once on board, he does not want to tell what happened at all, seeming deeply shaken and frightened.

The husband then decides to go and check for himself, but of course, it will be a terrible mistake because the boy is actually a homicidal lunatic who has already taken out all the other passengers and now would like to swipe his boat to escape with his beautiful wifey.

Directing this little gem is Phillip Noyce, perhaps not the most famous director in film history; however, someone who hardly disappoints expectations.

After some small movies for television, Nicole Kidman is lucky enough to make the giant leap to the big screen with two great actors as companions, in a perverse triangle of death and desire with no way out.

Sam Neill is definitely the best of the bunch, playing the all-of-a-kind hero who never gives up against the psychopath on duty, who instead is the equally young and charming Billy Zane, future performer of the obnoxious husband on another ship in even worse trouble, but all-time box office champion: James Cameron‘s Titanic.

Indeed, many of us expected a bright future for Kidman, and after this adventure, she did not disappoint, bringing to life so many characters with so much intense catharsis and talent that, only now, I realize that perhaps mentioning only these eleven movies does not do her full justice. What do you think? Do you agree with my top 11, or do you have other titles you prefer with this actress?

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