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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Nicole Kidman: from a killer to a princess

Gautaman Bhaskaran, Hindustan Times  Chennai, April 09, 2014
First Published: 14:00 IST(9/4/2014) | Last Updated: 14:22 IST(9/4/2014)

Nicole Kidman is back at a favourite haunt of hers this year -- Cannes Film Festival with another power-packed performance in Grace of Monaco. The film will have Kidman playing Grace Kelly – the American-actor-turned princess who steps into the Palace of Monaco. The film will kick start the 12-day festival.    

This is not the first time that a Kidman starrer will open the festival. In 2001, her Moulin Rouge (by Baz Luhrmann) did the honours, and as a terminally ill cabaret artist and courtesan who falls in love with an English poet, Kidman bought pain and pathos to the part.

This author first saw Kidman in To Die For at the Cannes Film Festival in 1995. Helmed by Gus Van Sant (who went on to make riveting cinema -- Milk, Elephant), the movie was a crime thriller in which Kidman essays a ruthlessly ambitious woman who murders her own loving husband. Finally, she pays for her misdemeanour and lies buried under an ice-skating ring (with her own sister playing on it!).

A still from Grace of Monaco


Invariably, Kidman has done serious roles. She played Virginia Woolf in The Hours, a damsel in distress in Lars Von Trier’s Dogville escaping from gangsters, a mother of two photo-sensitive children in a haunted house in The Others, and as the wife of a war prisoner in The Railway Man trying to grapple with the demons of the past.

This year, post-Grace of Monaco, Kidman will once again portray a villain in Paddington, before starring as an amnesiac in Before I Go to Sleep, and as Middle East pioneer Gertrude Bell in Queen of the Desert. All these appear to be serious parts, though set in very different kinds of situations.

Talking about Grace of Monaco, Kidman told an interviewer that “it was the chance of a lifetime to play her. I really admire her, and I think she has such otherworldly qualities. I think she has an aura about her. I don't know if I'm able to capture that, but I was honoured to have the chance to. We'll see. It's only a six-month period of her life that we depict. It's a fairy tale. It's not a heavy drama. It's got beautiful costumes. It's sumptuous”.

Indeed, Grace of Monaco will be a perfect opener for the vibrant Cannes.
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