Nicole Kidman and Naomi Watts at the 2024 AMI Awards
Nicole Kidman Glittered in a Gold Balenciaga Gown to accept her AMI Lifestyle Achievement Award John Kopaloff/Getty Images

Australian actress Nicole Kidman was presented with The AFI Lifetime Achievement Award by another Hollywood icon Meryl Streep, and the legendary actress owned the moment in a glamorous gold custom Balenciaga gown from the brand's Fall 24 collection. The glittering showstopper which evoked old Hollywood glamor and resembled an Oscar statue was embroidered with gold sequins and featured a long train. Kidman who is 5'11' teamed the dress with black Balenciaga pumps.

The American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award honors those in cinema whose career enriches American culture through film and television and all the A-list celebrities turned out to pay tribute. Kidman entered Los Angeles' Dolby Theatre to a standing ovation and the soundtrack of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend". In attendance were Kidman's husband Keith Urban and many Hollywood stars, friends and collaborators of Kidman including Reese Witherspoon, Naomi Watts and Morgan Freeman who all paid tribute to the star's illustrious career.

In her acceptance speech, Kidman praised the many directors she had worked with, "they take you in, they teach you, they take you under their wing and then they blow your mind", and "the audiences that have stuck by me through everything — I just want to say thank you. You've stood by me and stuck up for my weird, weird choices and I'm so grateful for that." The actress also shouted out the "loves of my life," in reference to Urban and their two daughters Sunday 15 and Faith 13, who made their first red-carpet appearance in red gowns alongside their mother and family members from Australia. "I like to think that I'm just getting started, but it's not true, because really, let's just hope I'm in the middle — I've got my fingers crossed, ' Kidman went on.

Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban and family, 2024 AFI Awards
It was a family affair for Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, daughters Sunday and Faith and family at the AFI Awards. Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Accepting her award from Streep whom Kidman starred in The Hours with the actress gushed "Meryl Streep, I just love you, I've always loved you; I don't know what it is but you're a beacon of excellence and warmth and generosity but you've been my guiding light, so to receive this from you, you have no idea. My husband will attest, my parents will attest, it's always been you, and no one can touch you."

Streep equally praised Kidman. "For me, the very, very hardest part of being incessantly called the greatest actress of my generation. The hardest part is when you come up against, or you're acting with, another person who is also really, really, really, really, really, really great. That's difficult."

Kidman's bestie and fellow Aussie Naomi Watts called the actress "the sister I never had" and said Kidman had the "heart of a lioness". "She's tall, elegant and wicked smart with the most infectious laugh you've ever heard. Nic has always been the most generous person."

Freeman, who was honored with the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2011, also took to the stage to honor Kidman, stating that the 2001 musical Moulin Rouge is one of his favorite movies. He ended his speech by singing a ballad from Elton John's "Your Song": "How wonderful life is while you're in the world," to Kidman.

In addition to the megawatt star power in the room fellow Aussies Cate Blanchett, Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Jane Campion, George Miller and Baz Luhrmann all appeared virtually to congratulate Kidman, the first Australian to receive the AFI's top honor.

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