The Screeners Are Coming
As the Academy screeners pile in, I’m going to record some opinions for whatever they’re worth. Watched Destroyer last night, and there’s a lot that’s strong and smart about this film, but I wish they had trusted Nicole Kidman’s acting instead of making her look so BAD for shock effect. They lose credibility because the living-dead woman they created cannot be believed as a detective lieutenant of police. Yes, make her look more hard-ridden than ever, but let her act the rest. She can do that. Also, come to find out, the time-frame we thought we were in is altered near the end –- so they get a zinger, a surprise, but I felt tricked, as if they had hidden a puzzle piece. The film is well shot, energy is great, acting fine throughout, dialogue smart and, yes, Kidman shows us a character that hasn’t yet been on her resume, but excesses and the plot trick take away.
Recommended so far: Disobedience, Private Life, Green Book, What They Had, and Boy Erased.
Have you noticed how this year of films is so, so dark? You Were Never Really There and Hereditary and Vox Lux and First Reformed will push you deep into the pit, deeper than necessary to tell a hard story. I think this is because we’re living through a dark time -– just a theory.
More to come.
PS. While you’re here, please visit A Family of Writers and see what we’re up to.