Destroyer

Oscar season is starting up, which means it’s a great time to have a close friend in SAG. I get a text from said friend inviting me to a screening of Destroyer. “I haven’t even heard of this one” “It’s Nicole Kidman’s gritty film trying for an Oscar.” “Sure, why not.” I google the trailer later. What was that? That’s Nicole Kidman? Looks more like an episode of Breaking Bad. Oh I am so in for this.

We get to the theater and find that the screening is overbooked. However, there’s a second screening (with a different organizer) happening 30 minutes later. They have enough extra space to take in all us overflow from the initial screening. We’re given validated parking and popcorn (which would not have been part of the package with the first show). Okay, this is fancy. After a few minutes in the theater, director Lee Daniels comes up and intros the film. He’s not actually involved in the film, he just threw this shindig for his good friend Nicole.

The film ends, and we’re expecting a Q&A. But the credits are over and the auditorium is half empty. We walk out, and there are signs directing us to an after party. Ummm okay?! Wine and hor d’oeuvres are passed around. Buddy and I are chatting about the film when he interrupts me with a low voice “By the way, Nicole Kidman is right behind you” WHAT?!! I turn around, and low and behold she’s a few feet behind me. She stays near for a while, and we watch her have the sweetest interaction with her old friend Lee. We think about what we’d say if she mingles over our way, but know that it won’t actually happen. A couple we’re chatting with grab her for a selfie on her way out. We try to follow suit, but she’s too quick and she’s gone. Still, magical just being so close to her for a little while. What the heck was this night?!

So now that you’re jealous that I’m living this superstar glam Hollywood life (I felt severely underdressed in my hoodie and smeared off eyeliner), time to chat about the movie itself. Nicole plays a cop of some sort, and her story plays out with a dual timeline. In the present, she’s an old and bitter officer, investigating a murder that is somehow linked to her past. In her past, she’s an undercover cop infiltrating a group of scumbags up to some nefarious purpose.

I loved this structure so much. It was so effective and enthralling. As the events would unfold in the present, you’d get another piece of the puzzle of the past. I was living for every detail to be revealed. There were turns that I did not expect in the slightest. This is absolutely the kind of dark and gritty drama that I live for.

And I’m still so shocked that Nicole Kidman took this on. It is so unlike anything we’ve seen her remotely involved in. She completely loses herself in the role and gives us something different from any other performance of hers. There’s some really great age makeup at play too (to be fair though, it wasn’t until halfway thru the movie where they stated was the timelapse was that I realized it was simply meant for her to be older, not a meth head). This is a performance we’re gonna be talking about for a long time, especially thru this Oscar season.

Destroyer – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/

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