Nicole Kidman’s Best Movies and Performances, Ranked

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Nicole Kidman has captivated Hollywood for more than thirty years, with a career defined by transformative roles, outstanding performances and a profound impact on the cinematic landscape. While receiving the prestigious AFI Life Achievement Award, Variety honors her career by ranking her top 12 film performances.

Born in Honolulu and raised in Australia, Kidman first made waves in the US with her role in Phillip Noyce’s thriller “Dead Calm” (1989), starring Sam Neill and Billy Zane. Her performance set the stage for more diverse and compelling roles. Soon after, she earned her first Golden Globe nomination for the supporting role of mistress Drew Preston in Robert Benton’s gangster film “Billy Bathgate” (1991) opposite Dustin Hoffman.

Kidman has received five Oscar nominations during her illustrious career. Her first came as the vivacious showgirl Satine in Baz Luhrmann’s musical extravaganza “Moulin Rouge!” (2001). The following year, she won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her terrifying transformation into author Virginia Woolf in Stephen Daldry’s gripping drama ‘The Hours’ (2002). Hollywood continued to recognize her talent with additional Oscar nominations, including supporting actress in Garth Davis’ “Lion” (2016) and actress in John Cameron Mitchell’s “Rabbit Hole” (2010) and Aaron Sorkin’s “Being the Ricardos” (2021) .

Kidman’s admiration among her peers and the media has blossomed with 16 Golden Globe nominations in film and television, earning her six wins. This includes a statuette for her performance in the black comedy “To Die For” (1995), which became one of her most notable critics at the Oscars. Recently, she has captivated television audiences in several series and won two Emmys for her performance in “Big Little Lies.”

In addition to her film roles, Kidman has also explored television, demonstrating remarkable versatility as a producer. In HBO’s hit miniseries ‘Big Little Lies’, she not only played the role of Celeste Wright, a woman battling domestic violence, but also served as an executive producer alongside Reese Witherspoon. Her role earned her a Primetime Emmy Award for Lead Actress, while the show took home outstanding limited series.

Kidman’s legacy is built on her relentless search for authentic and challenging roles that have allowed her to deepen and refine her craft. By continually selecting projects that defy expectations, she remains a shining figure in the landscape of modern cinema.

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Read Variety ranking Kidman’s best film performances below and celebrating a career that continues to resonate with audiences around the world.

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