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In a sexy comic turn, NICOLE KIDMAN stars as Nadia, a chain-smoking Russian mail- order bride whose arrival in London turns a mild-mannered bank clerk's life upside down.

Kidman's luminous career is noted for the variety of curious, intelligent and entertaining roles she has chosen. In high form since Philip Noyce's 1989's "Dead Calm," she is truly an actress for many audiences, and can make quixotic shifts from period and country from one film to the next. This year she came to the fore in two vastly different, but acclaimed, performances: in Bar Lurhmann's imaginative musical "Moulin Rouge" and in Alejandro Amenabar's sophisticated psychological horror tale "The Others."

In 1996, she fully realized the stubbornly independent but erred heroine, Isabel Archer, of Henry James' "The Portrait of a Lady," filmed by Jane Campion. A year earlier she received a Golden Globe for Best Actress as the spritely homicidal maniac, Suzanne Stone, in Gus Van Sant's black comedy "To Die For."

A native of Australia, where much of BIRTHDAY GIRL was filmed, she has undertaken daring roles, like her provocative stint on Broadway in "The Blue Room," performing for the late Stanley Kubrick's in his final work, "Eyes Wide Shut;" Mimi Leder's "The Peacemaker" and Griffin Dunne's "Practical Magic." Her other films include "Batman Forever," "Malice" and "My Life."

Upcoming is Stephen Daldry's adaptation of Michael Cunningham's "The Hours" with Meryl Streep, which will be also be released by Miramax. In 2002, she will begin production on the Lars Von Trier film "Dogville" opposite Stellan Skarsgard. Later in the year, Kidman will join director Robert Benton for the second time when she stars opposite Anthony Hopkins in "The Human Stain."


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