Lists · Movie Reviews

Hidden Gems: Nicole Kidman

July just sort of ran by without me realising! I’ve been watching a lot of movies this month but didn’t realise the days going by so I have to admit, my Hidden Gems post is a little last minute this time around. If you aren’t familiar with Hidden Gems, it’s a challenge created by Mettel Ray, where you pick an actor or actress for each month of the year, pick 3 movies of theirs you haven’t seen yet and give them a watch in the hopes of finding a gem. I think Mettel Ray is taking a break from the challenge this month but here I am with a post dedicated to Nicole Kidman.

Why Nicole Kidman?

She was a bit of a wild card choice for the challenge to be honest. I’ve enjoyed pretty much everything I’ve seen her in, but mostly her recent TV work, Big Little Lies and The Undoing. I’m very much looking forward to the upcoming Nine Perfect Strangers, too. She seems to star in a lot of thrillers and it’s one of my favourite genres, so I was keen to explore some of her older work.

Statistics

Letterboxd has an eye-watering 106 projects listed under Nicole Kidman, I took out 41 (a lot of shorts, TV movies, short movies and mini series’), leaving 65. Of those 65 movies I’d already seen 11, and funnily enough, one of those was watched for another Hidden Gems month! Some of my favourites include Paddington, Lion and The Others.

I’ve also seen The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Aquaman, Bombshell, Panic Room, Happy Feet, Prom, The Upside and Before I Go to Sleep.

It was so tough to choose just 3 movies from the ocean of ones I’m yet to see, but in the end I went with Eyes Wide Shut (1999), To Die For (1995) and Rabbit Hole (2010).

nicole-kidman-eyes-wide-shut

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

I try not to read too much into the movies I’m picking but when I’m so lost for where to start I do try to pick some that are widely well reviewed. Eyes Wide Shut seemed to be one of Nicole Kidman’s most well regarded movies so I hoped I was on to a good start. She stars along side Tom Cruise in a dark, erotic thriller directed by Stanley Kubrick and I tried my very best to look past the 159 minute runtime.

Eyes Wide Shut is going to join some other classic movies in the category I like to call ‘Artsy, Classic Movies Everyone Loves but I Find Totally Overrated’. I’m really sorry – I couldn’t get into this at all. I get that there’s a deeper meaning behind everything that happens but a movie two and a half hours long, I could explain the plot to you in about 30 seconds. I can appreciate the acting, the directing and the cinematography for what it is, but it’s not a movie I enjoyed at all.

nicole-kidman-to-die-for

To Die For (1995)

This was very, very close to being a gem for me, I enjoyed it a lot. Nicole Kidman plays a woman wanting to be a world-famous news anchor and will stop at nothing to get what she wants. What she lacks in intelligence she makes up for in determination and sheer will. When her husband is found dead, she’s the main suspect, and the movie swaps back and forth between showing us the events leading up to her husband’s death and interviews with the people who knew her.

Nicole Kidman’s character is absolutely fascinating but there’s just something about the way the story is told that holds it back from being a truly great movie. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed it immensely, but I can’t give out the prize of Hidden Gem to anything less than great. I wish more of the events had been told from her point of view so we could get a better understanding of her mind.

nicole-kidman-rabbit-hole

Rabbit Hole (2010)

Why do I find myself attracted to such depressing movies?! They’re like a magnet to me. In Rabbit Hole, Nicole Kidman stars alongside Aaron Eckhart as parents who have recently lost their son after he was killed in a car accident. It’s a raw and painful exploration as to how people handle grief, and how they move on after such a tragic event. It’s less a movie that you enjoy and more a dive into the spectrum of human emotion.

So, another great movie. But man, it’s just too much of a downer to call a gem. The definition will be different for everyone but for me, a hidden gem has to be both technically great and enjoyable to watch. Technically, Rabbit Hole is superb but I couldn’t say it was a movie I enjoyed.

Final Thoughts

No gem this month, but two great movies out of three, so I’m not disappointed at all. I’ve learnt that there’s still so many more Nicole Kidman movies out there, I was just unlucky with my choices. I’d love to know what your favourite Nicole Kidman movies are? August is a month I’m really looking forward to – it’s Jake Gyllenhaal month!

21 thoughts on “Hidden Gems: Nicole Kidman

  1. I love these all 3 of these films. Eyes Wide Shut is a film that is frustrating to watch at first but like many of Stanley Kubrick’s films. They become more engaging through re-watches as it didn’t grab me at first but as I got older. I realize what he was aiming for and he just delivers. To Die For is just awesome as I just love the offbeat humor and the fact that it’s told from different perspectives. A real hidden gem of Nicole Kidman to seek out is Flirting as she plays a schoolgirl who watches over a new student in a black girl as she later becomes her friend as the film also features a small role from Nicole’s bestie Naomi Watts.

    Like

    1. I’m relieved to hear about your experience with Eyes Wide Shut! I can tell there’s a lot more to it but I just couldn’t see it on one watch only.
      Thank you so much for the recommendation! I’ve barely scratched the surface when it comes to Nicole Kidman’s filmography so it’s tough to know where to start.

      Like

      1. The best place to start is Dead Calm from 1989. That’s the film where she was discovered by an international audience… and…. that no-talent midget Tom Cruise.

        Like

  2. Never seen any of these but whenever I think of Nicole Kidman, I think of Dogville and Batman Forever haha.

    As for Gyllenhaal I think of Donnie Darko, Nightcrawler, and Zodiac. If you haven’t seen any of those, I would recommend any of them πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. Two more Nicole Kidman movies I haven’t seen, ha! Thanks for the recommendations though.
      I love all three of those Gyllenhaal movies! Donnie Darko is probably my #1 movie of all time ❀

      Like

      1. You haven’t seen Batman Forever?! It was such an integral part of my childhood that I just assumed everyone has seen it LOL

        Donnie Darko was my #1 movie at one point as well. It’s not even my favourite Richard Kelly movie anymore (that is Southland Tales).

        Like

      2. I know! I didn’t get into comic books or comic book movies until 2011 so I’ve seen very little of them prior to then!
        I haven’t seen Southland Tales before but that’s going straight on the watchlist.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh Jake month πŸ™‚ He should always have his own month!

    I remember loving To Die For but my favorite Nicole Kidman films are still Practical Magic and Moulin Rouge!

    Like

  4. Great pick for Hidden Gems topic! Out of your 3 picks, I’ve only seen To Die For which I saw ages ago but I remember it being one of her boldest performances. I think my fave Nicole Kidman movie has got to be Moulin Rouge.

    P.S. I’m posting my Hidden Gems post a few days late but I think you’ll like my actor pick πŸ˜‰

    Like

  5. Easy Wide Shut is the only one I’ve seen and I felt the same way as you did. I liked the acting but it was not enjoyable at all, and I think the only reason people speak so highly of it is that it’s Kubrick’s last film.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.