Director Karyn Kusama with Nicole Kidman presenting their new film, Destroyer, on Friday night in Telluride.
Destroyer is far from your typical female cop film and whatever impressions you have of Nicole Kidman, I guarantee you that this performance will defy your expectations. She goes somewhere I’ve never seen her go before and proves without question her versatility and sensitivity as an actress. In what is sure to be an Oscar-nominated performance, Kidman completely transforms into a rough-around-the-edges, tough-as-nails LAPD detective with a troubling history and a guilty conscious as she attempts to track down a felon from her past. My head is still spinning from the story’s many layers of emotional and psychological complexity. Do not underestimate Destroyer— it’s one of a kind.
Kusama’s film is a must see, even if only for the sake of Kidman’s transformation. At Telluride, you stand in line for hours talking with film-loving strangers and whether they liked the film or not, everyone is buzzing about Kidman’s performance. We were all mesmerized and enthralled, on the edge of our seats throughout the entirety of the movie. It’s good news for women in film and I hope that filmmakers like Kusama get the credit they deserve. Both provocative and evocative, Destroyer confronts the audience with a story that is bloody and brutal, yet deeply moving and beautiful. Kidman strikes a balance between strength and vulnerability, redefining expectations of what a female character can be on screen. Her character, Detective Bell, isn’t lovable , yet she’s compelling. It’s about time we see women in roles that explore the complexities of the human condition without having to apologize for being too gritty or un-sexy