"The Color Purple" was a great movie. I've seen it so many times and I'm still moved to tears with every viewing! But, back to Nicole again! I'll agree and say that pre-2000 her performances were tinged with a distinct icy quality. She seemed to be somewhat closed off and/or uncomfortable with openly expressing emotion. I think she finally found the perfect role in "The Others". It was a role that cast her directly as a somewhat icy (perhaps even haughty) character that's reserve was broken away and ultimately her vulnerable side was open for all to see. I think that this role came at the perfect time for Nicole. She had built up such a proud and guarded exterior with Tom. But, as that solid part of her life began to fall apart, cracks in the armor began to appear and we've been able to see glimpses of emotion. I think that is why Nicole came to own the character she played in "The Others"; she was facing a similar situation in her own life. She now has what I would coin as a regal vulnerableness. So, I think Nicole is beginning to thaw! She was engaging and even flirtatious in "Birthday Girl" (which I think was somewhat under appreciated). Hopefully, she'll keep challenging herself and, in the process, allow us to see more of what and who she really is.