It’s the unscripted, TelePrompTer-free moments that tend to stand out at life achievement dinners.
Nicole Kidman‘s children provided just that moment when a slightly risque clip of “Eyes Wide Shut” was shown during Friday’s American Cinematheque Award dinner for the Aussie thesp at the BevHilton. A lingerie-clad Kidman and ex-husband Tom Cruise smoke a joint and argue as they get ready for bed, debating how disinterested a doctor is when he “squeezes the tits of a patient.”
A bit racy, but not shocking — at least for adults. However, the ex-couple’s two children (Isabella, 10, and Conor, 8) were seated on the dais next to the honoree. Their reaction was essentially: “Omigawd! Mom and Dad are in their underwear saying weird things! Everyone’s watching! Yikes!”
Isabella averted her eyes — as did Kidman, who was half-laughing, blushing and squirming simultaneously. Conor seemed to think it was pretty funny.
This light moment came about half-way through a dinner that had an unusually strong turnout of high-level industryites, including Alan Horn, Sherry Lansing, Amy Pascal, Tom Rothman, Harvey Weinstein, Chris McGurk and Bob Shaye.
Aside from the standing ovation when Kidman accepted her award at evening’s end, the night’s loudest applause came when Lauren Bacall took the mike. (She appears in “Birth” and “Dogville” with the honoree.)
After Bacall, the dinner continued in the classic format: clips introduced with a pertinent insight by prominent figures in the honoree’s career. Speakers included Naomi Watts (a friend from Oz for 20 years), Natalie Portman, Stockard Channing, Sydney Pollack, Baz Luhrmann, Michael Keaton, Stephen Daldry, Robert Benton, Danny Huston, Anthony Minghella and Adrien Brody, who made the award presentation.
While the remarks had their moments the insights could have used a bit more off-the-cuff goofiness. Keaton loosened up the festivities, beginning by saying: “I’m here to introduce the Paris Hilton clip. You didn’t see it? Yeah, right.”
In her acceptance, Kidman said, “Actors animate the dream of others,” adding the dinner clearly showed that having a Hollywood career has animated her own dreams as well.
Among those on hand were Cinematheque prexy Henry Shields and chairman Rick Nicita, James Robinson, Peter Dekom, Doug Wick and Amy Fisher, Ed Limato, Kevin Huvane, Sandy Climan, Bob Lange, Dennis Hopper, Joel Silver, James Caan, Peter Rice, Phillip Noyce, Rita Wilsonand the Cinematheque’s director, Barbara Smith, who said the event raised about $700,000. (It will air Dec. 1 on AMC.)