We’ve reached the time of year where the films and the performances that are likely to get noticed by the annual awards begin to come out. One thing that those giving out awards like to see frequently is an actor that takes on a role unlike those they have done before. Something that transforms them physically and emotionally. If that’s what is going to win the next Best Actress Oscar, then Nicole Kidman may have just become the front-runner. Check out the first trailer for Destroyer.
Destroyer follows an LAPD cop who, as a young officer was placed undercover with a gang. The experience has had long-lasting consequences on the officer which come to the forefront when the leader of the gang emerges many years later. In the trailer, we see the story shift back and forth between the two time periods and we get glimpses of what the character was forced to do, and what she may have done by choice, in order to integrate herself into the gang. And we see the woman she has become now as a result.
Transformation isn’t enough of a word to describe what we see from Nicole Kidman here. When the trailer shifted from the opening scene of the woman with the baby, to the next moment with an older woman speaking to a teenage girl, I honestly didn’t realize at first that the latter was Nicole Kidman.
The next moments didn’t help when we see that the woman is a hard-boiled cop. It’s not exactly the sort of role we’re used to seeing the actress in. It wasn’t until several seconds of not seeing Nicole Kidman that I realized I was seeing her the entire time. Between the look and the accent, she disappears into the role.
Of course, this is only a trailer so it only shows us some of what Destroyer will bring us and it’s been edited to show us something specific. Still, the trailer includes quotes from numerous critics who have been lucky enough to already see the film. While those can sometimes be taken out of context, it certainly looks like they are singing the praises of both Kidman and the movie as a whole.
These sorts of transformations frequently get awards show notice because playing against type is the most obvious proof that somebody is “acting.” It happens when actors known for comedies transition into serious roles, though this feels more like a Charlize Theron in Monster sort of transformation.
Destroyer is currently touring the festival circuit. It will have its North American wide release on Christmas Day. While Christmas is a popular release date for films, as it’s a popular day for many to go to the movies, I’m not sure this is quite the festive seasonal offering people will be looking for. Having said that, it certainly looks like it will be a movie worth checking out.