This is one of my favorite frames in any movie. It’s Nicole Kidman and it’s from Stanley Kubrick’s final film Eyes Wide Shut. The movie is not my favorite Kubrick film but this frame is easily one of my favorite stills of all time. I remember the first time I saw it. I nearly jumped off the couch in experiencing the sheer brilliance of it. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
This shot could easily be a still photograph, separated from the rest of the film. It has a story all its own. It’s powerful and emotional and compelling. But I think the reason I like it so much is because it really shows Kubrick’s background in photography. The composition is beautiful with Kidman angling down the middle of the frame with…wait for it…an exact split of warm and cool colors falling on opposite sides of her. The left side of the shot is bathed in cool blues with the right side in warm oranges. They don’t mix. One side is warm and the other is cool. That split in color is brilliant. I’ve yet to see another movie still with such a thoughtful composition as this. It’s just beautiful.