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Nicole Kidman: Oscar Can-Candidate

Unlike the cast of A Beautiful Mind, Nicole Kidman did not take a work break to watch the announcement of the Oscar nominations on Tuesday. The actress — in Sweden filming Lars Von Trier's historical drama Dogville — learned of her first-ever Academy Award nomination for Moulin Rouge from a member of the film's crew. "[He] held up a little sign behind the camera right after we'd finished a really intense scene," recalls the two-time Golden Globe winner, adding, "I am just so, so thrilled!" Oscar pundits expressed surprise that Kidman's lead actress nomination came for her fancy footwork in Moulin Rouge and not her haunting, memorable performance in the creepy gho

Michael Ausiello

Unlike the cast of A Beautiful Mind, Nicole Kidman did not take a work break to watch the announcement of the Oscar nominations on Tuesday. The actress — in Sweden filming Lars Von Trier's historical drama Dogville — learned of her first-ever Academy Award nomination for Moulin Rouge from a member of the film's crew.

"[He] held up a little sign behind the camera right after we'd finished a really intense scene," recalls the two-time Golden Globe winner, adding, "I am just so, so thrilled!"

Oscar pundits expressed surprise that Kidman's lead actress nomination came for her fancy footwork in Moulin Rouge and not her haunting, memorable performance in the creepy ghost story The Others. And although the Aussie thesp had previously refused to play favorites, she now confesses that the Down Under Moulin production remains closest to her heart.

"I was blessed with two great roles this year," she says, "but I have to say that Moulin Rouge was truly a hometown labor of love for us all."

Rouge's snubbed director Baz Luhrmann believes Academy voters made the right choice. "She's fantastic in The Others, but if the Academy Awards are about identifying unusual or exceptional achievement, [then she should be nominated for Moulin Rouge]," he told TV Guide Online back in November. "She's comic, she's tragic, and — here's the unusual bit — she sings and she dances. All categories are covered."