Nicole Kidman tends to stand out in a crowd, but you’d be hard-pressed to recognize the effortlessly glamorous Australian actress in the just-released official trailer for her latest film, Destroyer. Kidman vanishes into the role of haunted LAPD Detective Erin Bell in Karyn Kusama’s gritty cop drama.
Co-written by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (the team behind Kusama’s cult 2015 favorite, The Invitation), Destroyer has an unstuck-in-time structure that cuts back and forth across the decades from Bell’s first case as a youthful rookie to her unhappy present circumstances as a hard-drinking, hard-living veteran.
Her transformation plays out as the movie unfolds, and its broad strokes involve an undercover case gone wrong, the death of her partner (Sebastian Stan) and the sudden re-emergence of the gang she infiltrated (whose ranks include Tatiana Maslany and Toby Kebbell) decades later. The influence of West Coast crime classics like To Live and Die in L.A. and Heat is certainly felt in Destroyer — there’s a stunning mid-movie bank robbery sequence that Michael Mann would stand up and applaud — but Kidman, in this performance, explores new emotional and physical territory.
For example, in another standout scene, she and Maslany have a rough-and-tumble fight that Kidman couldn’t resist bragging about at a post-screening Q&A at the Toronto International Film Festival, where the film played ahead of its Dec. 25 release. “Tatiana and I loved beating the crap out of each other,” she said, laughing. Destroyer isn’t the only Christmastime release in which Kidman gets to kick butt; the latest Aquaman trailer includes shots of her regal Queen Atlanna getting her superhero on.
Based on the Twitter reaction, Kidman fans are primed for her extreme makeover.
— Olivier G.-B. (@OlivierSansAU) October 17, 2018
— Anirudha Basu (@Anirudha_Basu) October 17, 2018
— Kristina Hunter (@iamkrishunter) October 17, 2018
— AnnaMarie (@kukiddies) October 17, 2018
Take it from us: Destroyer‘s Erin Bell may not look like the Nicole Kidman you know, but there’s no one else we’d rather see in this role.
Destroyer opens in theaters on Dec. 25.
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