Nicole Kidman 'deserves to win' Oscar for new film Lion, director says
The director of Nicole Kidman's latest movie has hailed her as "the anchor and spine" of his film.
Kidman has already been nominated for a Golden Globe and a Bafta for her role in Lion, a film about a little boy separated from his family in India who ends up adopted by couple in Australia but uses Google Earth to find his way home.
Director Garth Davis told the Press Association: " It was uncanny how she understood this character, her spiritual connection to this story.
"She was crawling in this character so deeply, it was astonishing to see such a depth and fragility to the performance."
Davis said he now hopes Kidman, who plays adoptive mother Sue Brierley, will be recognised by the Academy with an Oscar nomination.
He said: " I would love her to win, she deserves to win. I don't do selling things but I do believe her performance deserves to win, she is amazing."
The film is based on the true story of Saroo Brierley, played by newcomer Sunny Pawar as a child and by Slumdog Millionaire actor Dev Patel as an adult.
Patel has been recognised with best supporting actor nods at the Baftas and the Golden Globes and Davis said the role was a coming of age for the 26-year-old.
He said: " Dev really found a big part of himself in this film. It wasn't a character that he found and that was perfect because that was what Saroo had to do, t here was a parallel.
" Nicole was very closely related to Sue, she was the anchor and spine of the film, and for Dev, he was really having to enter a deeper emotional space in his performance.
"The film is a journey of Dev Patel. I screen-tested him so intensely He prepared for eight months for this role and the Australian accent is so difficult, but he did extensive research and rehearsal and he was so good.
"That is very rare. We had a coach on set to iron out the crinkles. Doing an accent badly in Australia does not play well at all!"
Davis, who made his feature film debut as a director with the movie, said he felt a huge amount of emotional responsibility to do justice to the true story.
He said: "I t was a private story being made public and I really had to go deep to build these relationships and retrace their steps.
"Fate played a big hand in the story, chance and serendipity. If you wrote it as fiction, it would be bad writing, but Google Earth is what engineers his miracle. I had to embrace it and trust it. I had to do it in the most elegant way that I could."
Lion is released in UK cinemas on January 20.