The story of Dick Cheney, an unassuming bureaucratic Washington insider, who quietly wielded immense power as Vice President to George W. Bush, reshaping the country and the globe in ways that we still feel today.
Set in contemporary Chicago, amid a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands' criminal activities, take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.
In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne occupies the throne and her close friend, Lady Sarah, governs the country in her stead. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah.
Destroyer follows the moral and existential odyssey of LAPD detective Erin Bell who, as a young cop, was placed undercover with a gang in the California desert with tragic results. When the leader of that gang re-emerges many years later, she must work her way back through the remaining members and into her own history with them to finally reckon with the demons that destroyed her past.Written by
My grade of B- is all for the A-list Nicole Kidman showing us she can act like Charlize Theron in Monster. Destroyer is her film, and she does her best to show us she can be badass L.A. PD detective Erin Bell with years on her face and chips on her shoulder. It's just that the vehicle for this iconic actress is a middling thriller with a jumbled plot about her being an undercover cop, a heist gone wrong, and her annoyingly disaffected daughter, Shelby (Jade Pettyjohn), for whom Erin suffers much.
Kidman is made up to look like a beaten woman, but we do get a few too many flashbacks to show us how beautiful she was as a young brunette cop with a future. Director Karyn Kusama keeps the camera close on Kidman, as if she were begging us not to forget that underneath some neat makeup beats the heart and face of a super movie star.
Beyond Kidman's overpowering presence, some solid performances emerge, for instance Sebastian Stan as Chris, her loving partner; and Beau Knapp, as the boyfriend Jay no one would want for your daughter. Myriad other minor characters reflect the complex world of LA, real and romantic. It's the best city I know for attractive crime and fetching diversity.
Perhaps the awareness of glamorous Kidman as a squinting Dirty Harry is what steers the film and her performance to mediocrity. This observation may condemn Kidman to playing courtesans and rich mothers, but the reality is that she has over the years crafted an enviable persona relying partly on her unusually good looks. Perhaps this rough detective will allow us to forget that image as she plays in more gritty roles that display, without distraction, a world-class actress.
If you are a Kidman fan (I became one after Moulin Rouge), see Destroyer, which just may pleasantly erase your picture of perfection.
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