I totally take on board all the criticisms that are thrown at this film; that nothing really happens, it could be considered overly-ponderous, it's the epitome of the Oscar-baity 'prestige movie' etc. But I would genuinely put it among my personal favourite films of all time. It just pushes every button for me. I'm a fan of Virginia Woolf anyway so from that perspective I find it really interesting but even without, it's a really moving study in isolation and frustrated hopes. The music is just exceptional and the acting is superb. I really think Kidman's performance is so much more than slapping on a fake nose and looking miserable for two hours, I think it's one of her most soulful performances. Julianne Moore is always amazing but was on particular form in 2002 between this and Far From Heaven. This character is a nice counterpoint to that one, and I am constantly in awe of her ability to portray a gulf of emotion with a tiny flicker of her face. Give that woman an Oscar already! It's not just about the leads though, the supporting actors are all amazing. Toni Collette makes more of an impression in five minutes or so of screen time than most actors do in an entire movie. I really wish she was getting bigger roles in this kind of stuff. She seems destined to be forever in the waiting line behind Winslet, Blanchett and Moore though. Love love love it. I always put it on when I'm in the mood to wallow in a bit of self-indulgent melancholia.