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In her elegant, china-doll fashion, Nicole Kidman brings a certain fragility to Grace, a lonely mother in post-war England in The Others.

Simmering beneath that delicate porcelain exterior roars the ferocious heart of a lioness guarding her babies. Her husband, Charles, missing in action, the needs of her photo-sensitive children, Anne and Nicholas, leaves the little family cut off from society.

The large, stone, country estate they live in is haunting enough with long-echoing corridors and a permanent chill in the England air, but the need to block out the sun’s harmful rays adds a level of desperation to her loneliness. As Grace says, The only thing that moves in this house is the light.

And then, The Others come.

I love this movie for its rich plot, its stark setting and its slow yet determined build of Hitchcockian suspense. Before this movie topped my favourite film list, I didn’t much care one way or another about Nicole Kidman. Now, I hold her skill in high regard.

Alakina Mann, who portray’s Grace’s daughter, Anne, stands off against Kidman’s Grace with a mastery seldom found in adult actors, and pushes mother Grace and little brother Nicholas’ buttons to perfection.

And Fionnula Flanagan? As far as I’m concerned, all you need do is put her name on the marquee and I’ll be in a front row seat.

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