Kidman Kicks off Hollywood Award Season
"I am proud of one thing," said Kidman after being presented her trophy from Adrien Brody (this year's Best Actor Oscar winner for "The Pianist"). "It is that I have searched out or I have been searched out by visionaries, and I've surrendered whatever I have to them."
Sitting near Kidman, 36, was a team of directors with whom she has worked, including Baz Luhrmann ("Moulin Rouge"), Robert Benton ("The Human Stain"), Anthony Minghella (the upcoming "Cold Mountain") and Stephen Daldry ("The Hours," for which she won this year's Best Actress Oscar).
Among the series of testimonials (the event celebrated Kidman at mid-career, not for lifetime achievement), Naomi Watts, 35, told the Australian-born star: "You make audiences absorb and feel. You make actors watch, learn and steal ... You have directors dueling over you and producers crawling over broken glass, begging, 'Say yes.'"
Director-producer Sydney Pollack, 69, who costarred with Kidman and her now-ex-husband Tom Cruise in Stanley Kubrick's "Eyes Wide Shut," said: "I think Nicole's work in this film is powerful, ingenious and brave. ... Stanley adored her." He called it "the start of an amazing growth period for her. ... She's really blossomed and the power of her work has culminated with her being here tonight."
The Reporter notes that the film clip chosen from "Eyes Wide Shut," showing Kidman in a sexually charged exchange with Cruise, created an awkward moment, and the actress's two children, Isabella and Connor (who had been seated beside her), were quickly escorted out of the ballroom.
Others who spoke in praise of Kidman included Lauren Bacall, Stockard Channing, Matt Dillon, Allison Janney, Michael Keaton, Wayne Knight, Natalie Portman and Chloe Sevigny, reports the trade paper. Taped testimonials came from director George Miller and Mel Gibson.
AMC is scheduled to broadcast the banquet on Dec. 1.