The role plainly contrasts with the characters Kidman is known for – and with the roles leading ladies tend to step into. Predictably, a lot of commentary surrounding the film has foregrounded how different Kidman looks, but what's important is how differently her character behaves in comparison to traditional female heroes.
The director of the film, Karyn Kusama, is known for her nuanced portraits of complicated women, within an industry that often perpetuates reductive stereotypes. Horror films in particular tend to see women in terms of bodies and screams; Kusama’s 2015 thriller The Invitation was praised for its subtlety and intelligence. Destroyer isn’t a traditional horror film, but it is horrifyingly cynical in questioning whether justice can be served in a place as ethically ambiguous as LA.
And yet, early reviews suggest that Kusama’s latest film doesn’t live up to her past achievements. Despite Kidman’s sterling work as the fascinating woman, the plot, critics suggest, is thin. Bell must reckon with trauma that’s buried deep in her past, against the backdrop of LA’s much-documented crime scene. Have we seen it all before? Destroyer will be released in the UK on 25 January 2019, so you’ll soon be able to decide for yourself.
|What||Destroyer: Nicole Kidman subverts stereotypes in Karyn Kusama thriller|
25 Jan 19 – 25 Jan 20, TIMES VARY
|Price||£determined by cinemas|
|Website||Click here for more information|