Just when you thought you couldn't be any more impressed than you were by her performance in Big Little Lies, Nicole Kidman in the Destroyer trailer goes and proves you wrong. The actor has hovered near the top of the A-list for decades at this point, but it's clear even from just the two-and-a-half-minute trailer that Kidman is raising the bar. Her performance has a gritty, True Detective vibe to it, with action, mystery, and tenacity interwoven with themes of motherhood, dishonesty, and revenge, and that's only the trailer.
In short, Destroyer looks to be the whole package, just no package that we've ever seen before from Kidman herself. Her role as Erin Bell in Destroyer is the kind of meaty part that the industry usually hands out to grizzled, enigmatic men like Denzel Washington, Matthew McConaughey, or Josh Brolin — men who act alone, speak little, and reveal less.
But despite the dearth of this kind of role for women in Hollywood, Kidman slips into her part with ease, emoting as skillfully as the more open, younger version of her character as she does as her closed-off and aged-up counterpart. (Because yup, the 51-year-old plays her role through a whole range of ages in this film, as if it wasn't already impressive enough.)
But we're getting ahead of ourselves. With all the ground that gets covered in the trailer, you're probably wondering what Destroyer is actually about. To its credit, the studio has kept the details fairly under-wraps, with the IMDb blurb about the upcoming project limited to a single line: "A police detective reconnects with people from an undercover assignment in her distant past in order to make peace."
Kidman will of course play that detective, flanked by costars including Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany, Captain America: Civil War's Sebastian Stan, and Bradley Whitford, who's lent his talents to everything from The West Wing to Get Out. But other details about the film have remained scant, and the trailer, awesome as it is, will leave you with more questions than answers. Frustrating as that may be, it looks like audiences will just have to wait until the film hits theaters on Dec. 25 for any resolution — a date that we can't help but notice is right smack-dab in the middle of Oscar season.
By the looks of it, Kidman is well-placed for a shot at a Best Actress nomination. Every review included in the trailer raved about how the work Kidman does in the film is beyond anything you've ever seen from the star in the past. (And that says a lot, considering that in addition to a range of other awards, she already has three Oscar nominations and one win under her belt, for projects spanning 15 years: from 2002's Moulin Rouge! up to 2017's Lion.)
In short, Kidman is having herself her very own little McConaissance right now, with the difference being that she didn't need to fall off the radar to get it. She's been plugging away in a wide swath of roles for decades now, and now, as a quinquagenarian — it means someone in their fifties — she's turning in the best work of her career. It just makes Destroyer all the more highly-anticipated, both for the content of the role and everything that Kidman promises to bring to it.