By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated January 18, 2002 12:10 PM

Good news and bad news for Nicole Kidman, but only bad news for Jim Carrey. First, the good: Director Baz Luhrmann’s “Moulin Rouge,” a splashy yet oddball musical extravaganza starring Kidman and Ewan McGregor, is being heavily pushed for a best picture Oscar by its studio, 20th Century Fox, reports the Wall Street Journal. This is despite the fact that the movie left critics divided and a lot of the audience bewildered. On the other hand, notes the Journal, Fox has not won an Academy Award for Best Picture in 30 years, since 1972’s “The French Connection.” Now, the bad: Variety reports that Universal has abruptly canceled the untitled comedy that was to star Carrey and Kidman and was slated to start shooting in March as the studio’s big Christmas picture. No reason was given, though it appears that Kidman’s dance card is just too full. She is currently in production with “Dogville,” directed by Lars von Trier (“Dancer in the Dark,” which starred Bjork), and will immediately follow with “The Human Stain” starring Anthony Hopkins and directed by Robert Benton (“Kramer vs. Kramer”). Carrey, who turned 40 on Thursday, was to play a widower who begins dating, only to find himself haunted by his deceased wife (Kidman). For now, says Variety, Carrey is pursuing other projects for the spring. His movie “The Majestic,” which opened this past Christmas, was one of the biggest failures of 2001. In its first 24 days of release, it has not quite made $26 million in North America, reports Variety. Carrey is paid $20 million per movie.