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Review: Destroyer (2018)

Police Detective Erin Bell (Nicole Kidman) lives in a state of mere existence. Since surviving a harrowing undercover operation nearly 20 years ago, Bell has struggled to deal with the trauma and is now a ridiculed, loose cannon cop and a failure of a parent. But when her nemesis from her undercover days resurfaces, Bell decides to get revenge and embarks on a journey that could see her lose what little she has left.

There’s no doubting the pedigree of director Karyn Kusama. With films such as Jennifer’s Body, Aeon Flux, The Invitation and a ton of television credits to her name, Kusama is part of the wave of female directors currently reinvigorating the film industry. Already a hit at film festivals, Destroyer is no doubt Kusama’s most artfully made movie to date. Sadly, it doesn’t quite deliver the goods.

Nicole Kidman, on the other hand, does.
See full article at The Cultural Post »

New on Blu-ray and DVD for April 23, 2019!

Nicole Kidman teams up with director Karyn Kusama (The Invitation) on the gritty revenge thriller Destroyer.

As a young cop, Erin Bell went under cover to infiltrate a gang in the California desert -- with tragic results. Bell continues to work as a detective for the Los Angeles Police Department, but feelings of anger and remorse leave her worn-down and consumed by guilt. When the leader of that gang suddenly re-emerges, Erin embarks on an obsessive quest to find his former associates, bring him to justice and make peace with her tortured past.
See full article at QuietEarth »

New to Streaming: The Criterion Channel, ‘Bisbee ’17,’ ‘Native Son,’ and More

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’re highlighting the noteworthy titles that have recently hit platforms. Check out this week’s selections below and an archive of past round-ups here.

Arabian Nights (Miguel Gomes)

In lauding Miguel Gomes’ three-part, six-and-a-half hour behemoth, it’s perhaps important to consider his background as a critic. Not just in terms of the trilogy’s cinephilic engagement with Rossellini, Alonso, Oliveira, etc.; also in its defiant nature. While it’s easy to assign the trilogy certain humanist and satirical labels from the get-go and just praise these films for following through on them, Gomes continually seeks to mutate and complicate his of age-of-austerity saga. Far from perfect, and so much more exciting for that very reason. – Ethan V.

Where to Stream: Mubi (free for 30 days)

Bait (Mark Jenkin)

For his debut feature,
See full article at The Film Stage »

‘Destroyer’ Review

Stars: Nicole Kidman, Toby Kebbell, Tatiana Maslany, Sebastian Stan, Scoot McNairy, Bradley Whitford, Toby Huss, James Jordan, Beau Knapp, Jade Pettyjohn, Shamier Anderson, Zach Villa, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, Colby French, Kelvin Han Yee | Written by Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi | Directed by Karyn Kusama

Destroyer is director Karyn Kusama’s first cinematic venture in four years after her well-received feature The Invitation finding success on the streaming service Netflix in 2015. Kusama, famed for Aeon Flux and Jennifer’s Body in 2005 and 2009 respectively, has been in box office stagnation with the films stated above performing to mixed to disastrous results. Even with the latter teenage sadistic comedy having more and more of a cultural re-evaluation of sorts in recent years, it still wasn’t enough for Kusama to reignite her career.

A seasoned stint in television and a patient waiting in the wings outlook for her next cinematic project has Kusama bring her
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Claude Goretta obituary

Film and television director who was a leading figure in the New Swiss Cinema

The director Claude Goretta, best known for the Oscar-nominated film The Invitation (1973) and for The Lacemaker (1977), which launched Isabelle Huppert as an international star, was a leading figure in the New Swiss Cinema from the early 1970s, subverting the view of a comfortably well-off Switzerland.

With Alain Tanner, Michel Soutter, Jean-Louis Roy and Jean-Jacques Lagrange, Goretta, who has died aged 89, formed Groupe 5, a collective of Swiss film-makers, who got Télévision Suisse Romande, the national French-speaking TV company, to fund the group’s full-length narrative features for cinema release.
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Nicole Kidman and Karyn Kusama on ‘Destroyer’, Realistic Violence, & Non-Linear Storytelling

There isn't any magic in the gritty neo-noir drama Destroyer, but director Karyn Kusama certainly manages to make Nicole Kidman disappear. Donning prosthetics and a frayed wig, Kidman plays Lapd detective Erin Bell, a burnt out shell who has to revisit a tragic undercover operation from decades ago in the wake of a new murder. It's one of the best, most effective performances of 2018 that sees Kidman completely vanishing into the role, all hoarse voice, hungover eyes, and battered limping. The film reunites Kusama with The Invitation writers Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, and also stars …
See full article at Collider.com »

The Witching Hour: ‘Destroyer’ Director Karyn Kusama Talks Everything from Violence in Cinema to Marketing Woes

Welcome to The Witching Hour! Collider’s horror podcast, co-created and co-hosted by Horror Editor Haleigh Foutch and Senior Editorial Producer Perri Nemiroff. This week, Haleigh and Perri welcome special guest Karyn Kusama for a wide-ranging chat covering from 2000 breakout film Girl Fight to her 2018 awards contentender Destroyer. The filmmaker chat about working with Nicole Kidman on the brutal La Noir, what makes Kidman such an incredible performer, and capturing the feel of Los Angeles on screen. And of course, Kusama also talks about her horror films The Invitation and Jennifer's Body, violence in …
See full article at Collider.com »

Why Nicole Kidman Gambled Big to Star in Karyn Kusama’s Dark L.A. Noir ‘Destroyer’

Why Nicole Kidman Gambled Big to Star in Karyn Kusama’s Dark L.A. Noir ‘Destroyer’
Nicole Kidman puts her money where her mouth is. Always in demand, this fearless actress goes where many fear to tread. She has made it clear that when she picks her projects, half must be directed by women. Beyond that, she urges her directors to hire as many women as possible on the crew. Thus, she committed to starring in Karyn Kusama’s “Destroyer,” even with a meager budget of less than $9 million.

“Scripts aren’t getting better,” Kidman said. “They’re scant. I still have to find them. You don’t change the statistics by just saying it. ‘Karyn — let’s go. You get to go again!’ She’s had hits and failures. It’s easier to get behind the 25-year-olds. The female Dp, she’s gotten some work. You’ve got to allow women sometimes to come out of the gate. They have to build up experience and
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Why Nicole Kidman Gambled Big to Star in Karyn Kusama’s Dark L.A. Noir ‘Destroyer’

Why Nicole Kidman Gambled Big to Star in Karyn Kusama’s Dark L.A. Noir ‘Destroyer’
Nicole Kidman puts her money where her mouth is. Always in demand, this fearless actress goes where many fear to tread. She has made it clear that when she picks her projects, half must be directed by women. Beyond that, she urges her directors to hire as many women as possible on the crew. Thus, she committed to starring in Karyn Kusama’s “Destroyer,” even with a meager budget of less than $9 million.

“Scripts aren’t getting better,” Kidman said. “They’re scant. I still have to find them. You don’t change the statistics by just saying it. ‘Karyn — let’s go. You get to go again!’ She’s had hits and failures. It’s easier to get behind the 25-year-olds. The female Dp, she’s gotten some work. You’ve got to allow women sometimes to come out of gate. They have to build up experience and learn
See full article at Indiewire »

Movie Review – Destroyer (2018)

Destroyer, 2018.

Directed by Karyn Kusama.

Starring Nicole Kidman, Jade Pettyjohn, Tatiana Maslany, Sebastian Stan, Toby Kebbell, Scoot McNairy. Toby Huss, James Jordan, Beau Knapp, Shamier Anderson, Zach Villa, and Bradley Whitford

Synopsis:

A police detective reconnects with people from an undercover assignment in her distant past in order to make peace.

Psychology tells us that mothers have a maternal instinct to care for the children. Enter Nicole Kidman’s Lapd detective Erin Bell, where the actress is unrecognizable and exclusively decked out in black; everything from her somewhat unkempt dark hair to her leather jacket suggests that we are dealing with both a badass and someone still grieving. And while it’s clear that she does love her daughter Shelby, the fact that she is ditching school, has no strong relationship with her mother, doesn’t seem to be much closer to her father Ethan (Scott McNairy), and most alarming of all,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Link Tank: The Best Tearjerkers on Netflix

Jan 7, 2019

Sad Movies, Nintendo, Overwatch, and more in today's daily Link Tank!

"Destroyer" director Karyn Kusama has explained the film's ambiguous ending.

"In the new movie Destroyer, starring an unrecognizable Nicole Kidman as a defeated detective chasing an old suspect through Los Angeles, renowned indie filmmaker Karyn Kusama (Jennifer’s Body, The Invitation) explores the psyche of a woman with nothing left to lose."

Read more at Inverse.

A female Overwatch player has quit the game after extensive harassment.

"Kudos to outlets like Kotaku and Comicbook.com for their straightforward reports on the hounding pro Overwatch player Ellie received, but Jesus Christ, people, aren’t you as exhausted by this as I am?"

Read more at The Mary Sue

Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa broke a Twitter record over the weekend.

"Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa broke the record for most retweeted tweet over the weekend. How? The 43-year-old, who uses the name YouSuck2020 on Twitter,
See full article at Den of Geek »

#AwardsSoMale: Why Nominations Need to Recognize More Women Directors in 2019 (Column)

  • Variety
In the 90-year history of the Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has failed to nominate even a single woman in the best director category 85 times. The Academy is not alone. The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. has excluded women from this category in 69 of its 76 years of awarding Golden Globes, and did not nominate a single woman in 2018. We are squarely mired in another year of #GoldenGlobesSoMale and may be on the brink of yet another year of #OscarsSoMale.

When questioned about their exclusively male choices in years past, spokespeople for these groups have typically noted that the nominations are a reflection, not a cause, of the wildly skewed gender ratios in the mainstream film industry. This response is only partially accurate.

While women do remain underemployed, accounting for just 11% of all directors working on the 250 top grossing films of 2017, and 18% of those working on the 500 top films,
See full article at Variety »

‘Destroyer’ Scribes Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi Take Big Swings With Their Portrait Of “Female Rage”

  • Deadline
‘Destroyer’ Scribes Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi Take Big Swings With Their Portrait Of “Female Rage”
A singular detective story and genre-defying showcase for star Nicole Kidman, Destroyer weaves its tangled web with confidence. With its immaculate structure and an array of finely drawn characters, the film pursues a fresh, uniquely shadowed corner of a familiar screen world, reflecting with great clarity the values and interests of its inventors.

Along with his wife, director Karyn Kusama, and longtime writing partner Matt Manfredi, Phil Hay has always pursued stories that “take the biggest swings.” Certainly, Destroyer does that in spades. A presentation of “a very specific type of female rage,” the film is a descent into desert hell, a territory both physical and psychological. It follows Kidman’s Erin Bell, a world-wearied police detective out for revenge and inner peace, who reexamines the moment in her life when everything went awry. Brutal, physical and gutsy, the film sees interior and exterior worlds converge, placing its focus on criminal and constabulary,
See full article at Deadline »

‘Destroyer’ Film Review: Nicole Kidman Is Repulsively Brilliant in Hardcore Action Flick

  • The Wrap
‘Destroyer’ Film Review: Nicole Kidman Is Repulsively Brilliant in Hardcore Action Flick
It takes a lot of inner confidence to pull off what Karyn Kusama and Nicole Kidman have done with “Destroyer.” Here is the noir antihero that our current cinema has been longing for. The genre is traditionally an exclusive realm for steely male icons like Clint Eastwood or even Jamie Foxx in “Django Unchained” — but here’s a shatterproof hardcore woman hellbent on making things right once and for all.

When the film begins, Kidman’s Erin Bell is a wrecked woman, someone so repulsive to look at you have to turn away the moment she starts walking toward you. Part of that is the distinctive look the actress has adopted for the role: makeup and wig that makes her look like she’s slept in the desert in a sleeping bag, chewed on charcoal, and not taken a shower for two weeks. Or maybe she’s someone unable to kick a hardcore heroin addiction.
See full article at The Wrap »

Karyn Kusama Explains What Went Wrong & What She Learned From ‘Aeon Flux’ And ‘Jennifer’s Body’

Christmas Day saw the long-awaited release of filmmaker Karyn Kusama’s “Destroyer.” After a rocky career, featuring incredible highs (“Girlfight” and “The Invitation”) and devastating lows (“Jennifer’s Body” & “Aeon Flux”), the director is poised to come back and assert herself as one of the best creators in the industry. And she has been able to bounce back thanks to some lessons she learned from previous films.

Continue reading Karyn Kusama Explains What Went Wrong & What She Learned From ‘Aeon Flux’ And ‘Jennifer’s Body’ at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

Link Tank: 15 Facts About Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Dec 27, 2018

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Holmes and Watson, Elder Scrolls, and more in today's daily Link Tank!

Here are 15 facts about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

"In the middle of one especially eventful Supreme Court session more than five years ago—June 24, 2013, to be exact—Ruth Bader Ginsburg opened her mouth and began to speak. In two separate dissents, Rbg excoriated the outcomes of three cases: Fisher v. University of Texas and two employment discrimination decisions, Vance v. Ball State and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center v. Nassar. But she wasn’t done yet."

Read more at Mental Floss.

Jorge Lendeborg Jr. addressed the fate of his McU character Jason Ionello.

"Actor Jorge Lendeborg Jr. plays the charmingly nerdy Memo in Bumblebee, but you might just recognize him for his role in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Unfortunately, for any fans of his McU character, Jason Ionello, we have sad news to share.
See full article at Den of Geek »

How ‘Destroyer’ Director Karyn Kusama Deconstructed The Noir Genre & Rebuilt It From A Woman’s Point Of View

  • Deadline
In the golden renaissance of television, the prevailing wisdom is that HBO’s The Sopranos and AMC’s Breaking Bad put the crime noir genre out of business on the big screen. But with Destroyer, director Karyn Kusama and screenwriters Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi prove that there are still a few 180-degree tales left. What sets this noir apart from such classics as Chinatown and L.A. Confidential is that it’s from the viewpoint of a complex, battered undercover female cop on the hunt, embodied by Nicole Kidman in one of her most chameleonic turns since her Oscar-winning portrayal of Virginia Woolf in The Hours. Annapurna Pictures opened the 30West/Automatik production yesterday at three theaters in New York and Los Angeles. Kidman is nominated for a Golden Globe in the best actress drama category.

How long did Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi work on the script?

All of
See full article at Deadline »

Destroyer | Review

Sabotage Triage: Kusama and Kidman Break the Bank in Riveting Revenge Thriller

Robert Burns’ eternal line “The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men/Gang aft agley,” certainly comes to mind in Destroyer, the fifth feature from director Karyn Kusama, which takes a familiar genre and twists it on its head. Unexpectedly riveting considering the cinematic plethora of bad cops seeking revenge and redemption, Kusama continues her winning streak with screenwriters Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, who penned Kusama’s delicious return to form in 2015’s cult thriller The Invitation (review). Operating on a much larger canvas, and with her biggest cast and budget since 2008’s Jennifer’s Body, Kusama comes out swinging with one of the best Los Angeles neo noirs in recent memory.…
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Destroyer Takes Its Characters On a Journey into Darkness

Don Kaye Dec 22, 2018

Director Karyn Kusama and co-star Sebastian Stan shine a light on their brooding new crime thriller, Destroyer.

Yes, you’ve probably seen Nicole Kidman as Atlanna, the Queen of Atlantis, in Aquaman once already this weekend and you may even be on your way to a second visit. But after watching her fight majestically for her life and that of her son in her relatively brief screen time in that film, you should consider seeing the other movie that Kidman stars in and absolutely owns: Destroyer.

Directed by Karyn Kusama, Destroyer is the story of Erin Bell, a burned-out Lapd cop who is tormented by her efforts to reconnect with her estranged daughter and haunted by an undercover FBI sting that went disastrously and tragically wrong some years ago. When an enemy from the past (Toby Kebbell) resurfaces, Erin embarks on a dangerous quest to take him
See full article at Den of Geek »

Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (‘Destroyer’ writers) on giving Nicole Kidman the kind of lead role usually reserved for men [Exclusive Video Interview]

Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (‘Destroyer’ writers) on giving Nicole Kidman the kind of lead role usually reserved for men [Exclusive Video Interview]
Screenwriter Phil Hay reveals that the idea for “Destroyer” really started to take shape when the character of Erin Bell (Nicole Kidman), a hard-bitten police detective, came into focus. Prior to that he and co-writer Matt Manfredi had some ideas “about a certain type of crime story. But when we discovered who Erin was, and specifically what her relationship was with her daughter, that’s what kind of lit the whole thing up for us.” Watch our exclusive video interview with Hay and Manfredi above.

Directed by Karyn Kusama, this Annapurna release centers on a cop who spent years undercover in a drug ring until a tragedy upended her life. Her past decisions have destroyed her present, especially when it comes to her relationship with her rebellious teenage child (Jade Pettyjohn). But when the violent gang leader Silas (Toby Kebbell) returns after years in hiding she must confront her demons once and for all.
See full article at Gold Derby »
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