The last time Nicole Kidman wore this much prosthetic make up she won a Best Actress Oscar. “Destroyer” sees her almost unrecognizable except for her unmistakable movie-star jaw line in silhouette.
Kidman plays Erin Bell, a police detective ground down by years on the job, booze and the haunting memory of a case going wrong. When we first meet her she’s on the scene of a crime. When she spots a familiar tattoo on the victim she realizes a former adversary is back in town. It’s Silas (Toby Kebbell), a mini-Manson who controls his people through intimidation and drugs. “He’s either cleaning up,” she says, “or restarting again.“
To get to the bottom of the latest murder she begins an investigation that forces her to confront her behaviour on a long ago undercover case. The case puts her at odds with her estranged daughter (Jade Pettyjohn) and draws her down a path populated by increasingly sleazy characters including a crooked lawyer (Bradley Whitford) who tells her she is sad and stupid for revisiting the past and Petra (Tatiana Maslany), a drug addict and direct link to Silas. It’s dangerous territory, but she is undaunted. “I don’t care what happens to me,” she says. Eventually the past, told through flashbacks, catches up with the present filling in the details of how Erin ended up where she is today.
At the heart of “Destroyer” is a complex moral question, Can you ever really pay for the sins of your past? It mostly goes unanswered, although her actions hint at some sort of uneasy resolution. In the end it is obvious that while she may be trying to do the right thing, it seems likely she’ll end up in a bad way.
Kidman is in full-blown anti-heroine mode. You can practically smell the stale breath; feel her pounding hangover headaches. She’s in rough shape, the result of a lifetime of bad decisions. Kidman does a Herculean job of brushing aside any likable traits in Erin and adds a few interesting flourishes as she paints the portrait of this troubled woman but overall the result is mostly a paint by numbers picture you’ve seen before in other hard boiled crime dramas.
“Destroyer” is a gritty drama that, despite Kidman’s makeup, doesn’t change the complexion of similar stories in other movies.
Richard joins CP24 anchor Nathan Downer to have a look at the weekend’s new movies including Nicole Kidman times two – in the gritty cop drama “Destroyer” and the dramedy “The Upside,” where she co-stars with Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart – Carey Mulligan in “Wildlife” and the psychological thriller “Escape Room.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the weekend’s big releases including the Nicole Kidman cop drama “Destroyer,” the Bryan Cranston-Kevin Hart dramedy “The Upside” and “Wildlife” with Carey Mulligan.
A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at two Nicole Kidman movies, the gritty cop drama “Destroyer” and the dramedy “The Upside,” where she co-stars with Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart. Then it’s on to Carey Mulligan in “Wildlife.”
Richard and CFRA Ottawa morning show host Bill Carroll have a look at Nicole Kidman in the gritty cop drama “Destroyer” and the dramedy “The Upside,” where she co-stars with Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart. Then it’s on to Carey Mulligan in “Wildlife” and the psychological thriller “Escape Room.”
Richard and CP24 anchor Jamie Gutfreund have a look at the weekend’s new movies including the birthday blues of “Happy Death Day,” Jackie Chan’s return to adult drama “The Foreigner” and Liam Neeson in the self explanatory “Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down The White House.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Marcia MacMillan to have a look at the birthday blues of “Happy Death Day,” Jackie Chan’s return to adult drama “The Foreigner” and Liam Neeson in the self explanatory “Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down The White House.”
Alfred Hitchcock, knew how to scare the wits out of people. The shower scene in “Psycho,” for example, is a benchmark in cinematic fear. If he had any doubts about the effectiveness of that sequence they must have been put to bed when he received an angry letter from a father whose daughter stopped bathing after seeing the bathtub murder scene in “Les Diaboliques” and then, more distressingly, refused to shower after seeing “Psycho.” Hitch’s response to the concerned dad? “Send her to the dry cleaners.”
“78/52,” a new documentary from Alexandre O. Philippe spends ninety minutes exploring not only why the fifty-two second scene continues to terrify but also how it changed cinema. Drawing its title from the 78 shot set-ups it took to film the scene, the movie is an exhaustive but not exhausting look the shower sequence.
A mix of fan info and academia, it covers some familiar territory but more intriguingly looks to experts like filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and editor Walter Murch to dissect the nuts and bolts of the scene. Shot-by-shot they get inside Hitchcock and collaborator Saul Bass’s mindset, delving into the decisions, both artistic and practical, that give the sequence its power. First hand recollections come from a new and spirited interview Janet Leigh’s nude model stand-in Marli Renfro and archival conversations with Hitchcock and Leigh.
“78/52” is likely the final word on the infamous shower scene. The level of detail will enthral film geeks and Hitchcockolytes but shouldn’t dissuade more casual viewers. The enthusiasm of several of the talking heads—most notably Elijah Wood—is infectious. We can learn how and why the scene works but their passion shows why the scene is so successful from a strictly personal point of view.