Stephen Daldry's The Hours will premiere on Sunday, but all anyone is talking about is Nicole Kidman's nose in the movie. It is a proboscis of the highest order. If anything, the nose may lead to Nicole's first ever Oscar win next March.
"Stop already with the nose!" That's costume designer Ann Roth, who helped invent the nose.
She waved a finger at me at a movie premiere the other night when she heard me mention the dreaded appendage. This year alone Roth is responsible for work on Signs, Adaptation, The Hours, Cold Mountain (also with Kidman, which just wrapped), and Changing Lanes.
"It was nothing, that nose," Roth insisted. "It was just putty. It's gone now, it doesn't exist. I can't believe people are talking about it!"
But truly, in The Hours the gorgeous Kidman wears a much different honker, one that makes her look more like that towering literary genius Virginia Woolf and much less like the willowy gamine she is in real life.
"My kids went over the test shoots for the nose," Kidman told me. "My son hated it. My daughter loved it. There you are."
Whether it's with new nose or not, Nicole is ready for her Oscar even though her parents may not be.
Last year, even though she'd been nominated for Moulin Rouge!, the elder Kidmans went on a hiking trip in the Australian bush. They'd been to the Golden Globes, Nicole says, and that was enough for them.
Last year, in fact, Kidman had not one, but two serious starring roles — in The Others and Moulin Rouge! She lost to Halle Berry, which was just fine with her, she says.
But this year, in a smart and snappy film that puts her side by side with Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Miranda Richardson and Allison Janney, Kidman walks the walk and talks the talk. It's hard to imagine the little gold man won't be hers at last.
What does Nicole say about all those rumors of an affair with Russell Crowe? US magazine recently reported, then recanted, a cover story about the pair.
"I laughed," said Nicole. "I said, 'So that's my boyfriend! Now I know!'"
She's not very old, but actress Diane Lane has already made 43 feature films. Her first, A Little Romance, came at the age of 13. Her most recent, Unfaithful, was released last winter.
The film got tepid reviews, but Lane's sexy performance is being remembered now that we've reached awards season. Last night, the Film Society of Lincoln Center gave her a retrospective, which is pretty amazing considering she's only 37-years-old.
"And the funny thing is, I actually was here for Sir Laurence Olivier's retrospective when I was 17," Lane told me last night.
Diane was introduced by her Unfaithful director, Adrian Lyne, who is known for his lusty movies — such as Lolita, 9½ Weeks and Fatal Attraction.
So you'd think Lyne was quite the player, no? Guess again. He's been married for 29 years to the same woman, and has a lovely, attractive grown daughter. What a surprise, I said to his wife.
"He has to get his fun somewhere," she replied, "so it's on film!"
The Lynes were the find of the evening. I'd love to spend more time with them, but they live in southern France most of the time. Living well, you see, is the best revenge.
It seems that Steven Spielberg's Minority Report, which was released in June, has slipped from the minds of most people — Academy Award voters, especially.
A couple of days ago I was able to spend some time revisiting this classic on DVD. I predict that 10 years from now, Minority Report will be a film everyone lists as a favorite or an important influence. It's just way ahead of its time.
Among the many wonderful things in this film is a terrific performance by Lois Smith. If you recall, she's the woman Tom Cruise visits in the greenhouse, the one who invented the Pre-Crime business.
If anyone deserves a Best Supporting Actress nomination, it's Smith. Her turn makes Minority Report glow from the center. Not only does she explain the movie, but she does so in a moving and memorable way.
Smith has a long list of theater credits, with two Tony nominations. She also has an impressive list of film roles, in everything from Five Easy Pieces to Dead Man Walking over a 30-year span.
But I had to laugh when I checked her credits on the Internet Movie Database. Some poor soul has listed her as the publicist on A River Runs Through It, Quiz Show, Bringing Out the Dead and All the President's Men.
Much as she might like the praise, our Smith is not that person. That would be another Lois Smith, my dear friend and beloved head of PMK Public Relations, who toils indeed for Robert Redford and Martin Scorsese, among others.
Newsweek did a pretty interesting interview with Jack Nicholson this week, in which he conceded that he wasn't partying the way he used to. Jack made it seem like he was staying home and sipping tea with a lap blanket and a Barbara Pym novel.
I'm the biggest Jack Nicholson fan in the world, but really, folks....
It was only a short time ago that Nicholson came to New York for the premiere of About Schmidt at the New York Film Festival in September. Readers of this column may recall my report on the after-party at Man Ray in the West Village.
Nicholson danced the night away with a variety of nymphets, at various times allowing himself to be the "middle" in what I could call a Dancing Model Sandwich.
Indeed, Jack was still at it and going strong when I left at 4 a.m. He's 65 years old and he doesn't miss a beat. Or a treat. Maybe the Newsweek folks should start going out more....
I hate to dispute my colleague Jeannette Walls, but Leonardo DiCaprio's accent in Gangs of New York got high praise the other night from actual Irish people.
Indeed, the manager of the little Irish boy who plays a young Leo in the film — a woman who was born and raised in Dublin — happened to tell a bunch of us that DiCaprio's brogue was 100 percent authentic.
But oy, some other accents she's heard! A bad one?
"Brad Pitt in Devil's Own," the lady offered. "That one was wide off the mark."