Nicole Kidman, who ‘makes films higher,’ will get AFI Life Achievement Award | EUROtoday

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Morgan Freeman spoke the phrases, however just about everybody who took the stage on the presentation of the AFI Life Achievement Award agreed: “ Nicole Kidman. She makes movies better.”

The line got here in a video parody of Kidman’s AMC Theatres “we make movies better” advert that opened the Saturday evening ceremony on the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. It received big laughs from the gang of multigenerational A-listers there to honor the 40-year profession of the 56-year-old Australian that has included roles in “Moulin Rouge,” “Eyes Wide Shut” and an Oscar-winning flip in “The Hours.”

Meryl Streep, Kidman’s “The Hours” co-star who offered to Streep the Life Achievement Award that she gained herself in 2004, received laughs practically as massive when, in a mock-boastful voice, described the toughest a part of being “incessantly called the greatest actress of my generation.”

It’s once you come up towards another person who’s “really, really, really, really, really, really great” and also you understand they did stuff you couldn’t do, as occurred with Kidman the primary day they labored collectively on the HBO sequence “Big Little Lies,” Streep said.

Streep and their “Big Little Lies” co-star Reese Witherspoon both did spot-on, Australian-accented impressions of Kidman that had the audience in stitches.

Streep also drew tears from Kidman when describing what she believed motivated her.

“People call it bravery when an actress bares all and leaps off into the unknown and she dives deep into the darker parts of what it is to be a human being,” Streep said. “But I don’t think it’s bravery. I think it’s love. I think she just loves it.”

Kidman teared up for the first time in the evening when her husband and fellow Australian, singer Keith Urban, said she showed him “what love in action really looks like” when his substance abuse problems emerged almost immediately after they wed in 2006.

“Four months into our marriage, I’m in rehab for three months,” Urban said, looking at Kidman where she sat on a dais with their two daughters and other family. “Nic pushed through every negative voice, I’m sure even some of her own, and she chose love. And here we are 18 years later.”

Kidman said the night was the first time she allowed their teenage daughters to join her on a red carpet. She also has two children with her first husband, Tom Cruise.

She accepted the AFI award in the same venue where she accepted her Oscar in 2003 for playing Virginia Woolf in “The Hours.”

She thanked by title each director she has labored with, together with Stanley Kubrick, Jane Campion, Baz Luhrmann, Sofia Coppola, Yorgos Lanthimos, Sydney Pollack and Lars von Trier.

“It is a privilege to make movies. And superb to have made movies and tv with these storytellers who allowed me to run wild and be free and play all of those unconventional ladies,” Kidman said, wearing a floor-length, glittering-gold gown. “Thank you for making me better at my craft and giving me a place, however temporary, in this world.”

It was announced back in November of 2022 that Kidman would receive the award, first handed out in 1973, whose previous winners include Orson Welles, Bette Davis, Alfred Hitchcock, Gene Kelly, Sidney Poitier, Barbara Streisand, Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Denzel Washington and Julie Andrews.

The ceremony originally was scheduled for June of 2023, but delayed because of Hollywood’s strikes. It will air on TNT on June 17.

Kidman also was nominated for Academy Awards for “Moulin Rouge,” “Rabbit Hole,” “Lion,” and “Being the Ricardos,” whose director, Aaron Sorkin, additionally sang her praises on the ceremony.

Others honoring her included Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Zoe Saldana and Mike Myers, who got here on stage in disguise in one of many eerie orgy masks from “Eyes Wide Shut.”

Kidman started her profession as a teen in Australia in movies together with “Bush Christmas” and “BMX Bandits.” Naomi Watts, a friend from those days, described meeting Kidman when both had to sit in a waiting room in bathing suits for two hours at an audition. Aussies Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman and Cate Blanchett all gave video tributes to the first from their country to win the award.

Kidman said in a video played at the ceremony that her appearance in the 1989 thriller “Dead Calm” brought her to the attention of, among others, Cruise, the only time his name was spoken Saturday night.

She had her breakthrough Hollywood role alongside him in 1990’s “Days of Thunder” — they might marry the identical 12 months — and likewise starred collectively in 1992’s “Far and Away” and in 1999 in Kubrick’s remaining movie, “Eyes Wide Shut.”

She divorced Cruise in 2001, however her stardom solely grew in his wake. Some of her greatest roles, and her Oscar, had been nonetheless to come back.

The function most frequently cited as a favourite through the awards present Saturday evening was her musical flip in Luhrmann’s 2001 “Moulin Rouge.”

Freeman, the 2011 AFI honoree, in his in-person presentation that adopted the video spoof, serenaded Kidman with the modified Elton John traces she sings within the movie: “How wonderful life is, now you’re in the world.”