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(2018)

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Movie Review – Destroyer (2018)

Destroyer, 2018.

Directed by Karyn Kusama.

Starring Nicole Kidman, Toby Kebbell, Sebastian Stan, Tatiana Maslany, Jade Pettyjohn, James Jordan, Bradley Whitford and Scoot McNairy.

Synopsis:

A weary cop is forced to rake through her own past as an undercover operative when a threatening package coincides with the discovery of a John Doe murder victim.

Much like its awards season bedfellow Vice, Karyn Kusama’s La-set thriller Destroyer has been sold on the basis of a transformative lead performance. In the case of this film, it’s Nicole Kidman who has undergone a decidedly unglamorous makeover to play the role of hard-bitten detective Erin Bell. Her undercover past comes back to haunt her in a threatening and dangerous way when she receives a package from Toby Kebbell’s gang boss Silas. It’s just a dye-stained banknote, but it means a great deal more to Erin, especially as she’s just come
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Oscar nominations 2019: Roma and The Favourite deserve acclaim, but no female directors is woeful

The Academy consensus has produced two blue-chip frontrunners, but passed over some exceptional films directed by women in the process

•Roma and The Favourite vie for glory

•Full list of nominations

•Guardian film Black Sheep nominated

Once again, the mysterious consensus-accretion of awards season has done its work and the Oscar nomination list has a big showing for Alfonso Cuarón’s magnificent Roma, with 10 nominations — and, notably, just as big a score for critics’ darling and perennial talking point Yorgos Lanthimos’s bizarre Restoration comedy The Favourite. This also has 10 nominations, including of course a best actress nomination for Olivia Colman, who this year has become (justly) catapulted to international treasure status. These are the prestige products, the blue-chip movies that the Academy hivemind has decided are the headline successes.

As for the snubs, complaining about these has evolved to such an extent in recent years that they have become
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Oscar Nominations: The 15 Biggest Snubs and Surprises

  • Variety
Oscar Nominations: The 15 Biggest Snubs and Surprises
In a year without a clear frontrunner for best picture, the Academy Awards nominations on Tuesday morning picked a clear favorite (or two). “Roma” and “The Favourite” led all films with 10 nominations each. “A Star is Born” and “Vice” followed with eight nominations apiece. “Black Panther,” which scored seven nods, made history by becoming the first comic book movie to land in the best picture race.

But it wouldn’t be the Oscar nominations without some surprising snubs. One of the biggest omissions was that Bradley Cooper failed to crack the directing category for “A Star is Born,” the box-office juggernaut which has grossed more than $400 million worldwide. Timothee Chalamet also missed out for his second career nomination for “Beautiful Boy.” And why weren’t any of the actors from “Black Panther” nominated?

Here are the 15 biggest Oscars snubs and surprises.

Snub: Bradley Cooper for directing “A Star is Born

Cooper got Afflecked.
See full article at Variety »

Female Directors Shut Out of Oscar Nominations

  • Variety
Female Directors Shut Out of Oscar Nominations
It was an anticipated takeaway from this year’s Oscar nominations announcement, but that doesn’t make it any less unfortunate: Despite a number of worthy contenders to choose from, female filmmakers were shut out of the directing category.

From Lynne Ramsay’s “You Were Never Really Here” (an Amazon release that received a Cannes screenplay prize) to Debra Granik’s “Leave No Trace” (a Sundance entry notably recognized by the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. last month), great work from deserving women was certainly on the table. Ramsay, in fact, was — along with “BlacKkKlansman” helmer Spike Lee — the most laureled filmmaker on the critics’ awards circuit after Alfonso Cuarón.

Marielle Heller and Chloe Zhao were other acclaimed players that arguably deserved to make the lineup. Tamara Jenkins (“Private Life”), Karyn Kusama (“Destroyer”), Mimi Leder (“On the Basis of Sex”) and Josie Rourke (“Mary Queen of Scots”) were options as well.
See full article at Variety »

Will Debra Granik (‘Leave No Trace’) become only the 6th woman nominated at Oscars for Best Director?

Will Debra Granik (‘Leave No Trace’) become only the 6th woman nominated at Oscars for Best Director?
Can you believe that only five women have nominated for Best Director at the Oscars? (See who made the cut in our photo gallery above.) Despite a strong slate of female-helmed films, it looks as though the 2018 slate will be another male-dominated one. Yet if anyone can break up the boy’s club, it could be critics darling Debra Granik for “Leave No Trace.”

See Debra Granik Interview: ‘Leave No Trace

Granik scored an Independent Spirit nomination for directing this character study about a Ptsd-afflicted veteran (Ben Foster) living off the grain with his daughter (Thomasin McKenzie) in the woods of Portland, Or. She was, in fact, one of three women cited in that category, alongside Tamara Jenkins (“Private Life”) and Lynne Ramsay (“You Were Never Really Here”).

In addition, Granik won the prestigious Los Angeles Film Critics Association prize for Best Director, which in the last decade has had
See full article at Gold Derby »

Oscars slugfest 2019: Are Timothee Chalamet, Emily Blunt and Viggo Mortensen at risk of being snubbed? [Watch]

Oscars slugfest 2019: Are Timothee Chalamet, Emily Blunt and Viggo Mortensen at risk of being snubbed? [Watch]
Should Timothee Chalamet be worried about his Oscar chances? After receiving a Best Actor nomination last year for “Call Me By Your Name” he looks like he’s on his way to a potential second bid this year for his supporting turn in “Beautiful Boy.” But as Gold Derby contributors Riley Chow, Rob Licuria, Amanda Spears and I point out in a recent slugfest on the acting races, he might be on shaky ground. Watch our entire video above.

Licuria points out that Chalamet “has been landing the right nominations throughout the season,” including recognition from SAG, Critics’ Choice, BAFTA and the Golden Globes. But that was also true of past contenders like Hong Chau in “Downsizing” (2017) and Daniel Bruhl in “Rush” (2013), who also had the right precursor support but didn’t end up with Oscar nominations. On the other hand, Licuria also notes the “leftover residual love from ‘Call Me By Your Name
See full article at Gold Derby »

Viola Davis (‘Widows’) could still get Oscar nomination with only BAFTA as major precursor

Viola Davis (‘Widows’) could still get Oscar nomination with only BAFTA as major precursor
Viola Davis received a much-needed boost in our Best Actress predictions for her performance as Veronica Rawlins in “Widows” thanks to the BAFTA Awards, who just gave her her third career nomination. While Davis had earned a fair amount of nominations from critics’ groups for “Widows,” BAFTA was her one and only mention from the major precursors, having been snubbed at the Golden Globes, Critics’ Choice and SAG Awards. Now, she is in a position to potentially sneak in at the Oscars, as many had been predicting earlier in the season.

SEE5 performers who got an Oscar boost from BAFTA nominations: Viola Davis, Adam Driver, Claire Foy, Sam Rockwell, Margot Robbie

Widows” has had a roller coaster of an award season, with its all-star cast led by Davis and the pedigree of Steve McQueen and Gillian Flynn making it an early contender. Then it was released in November and written
See full article at Gold Derby »

‘Who Will Write Our History’ Tops Slow Pack of Debuts; ‘Free Solo’ at $13.1M: Specialty Box Office – Update

Updated with more numbers and analysis. Who Will Write Our History can claim the highest opening per theater average of 2019 among the specialties, but it has been a slow month. After the current lull, next week’s Oscar nominations and start to Sundance should reinvigorate the specialty sector.

Who Will Write, a documentary released by Abramorama, found an audience this weekend with its $12,719 gross. The portrait of a man who kept an archive of recollections in the Warsaw Ghetto will get access to a much larger audience with an event slate of showings later this month.

”The film played to sold out 100-seat rooms at the Quad this weekend,” Richard Abramowitz of Abramorama told Deadline, “in spite of the weather and in anticipation of its unprecedented 300-plus screen event screening release in 50 countries and 12 languages to commemorate International Holocaust Remembrance Day on January 27.”

Beyond the global event, Who Will Write
See full article at Deadline »

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 »

Five actresses with other films and TV shows that could boost their Oscar chances: Olivia Colman, Amy Adams …

Five actresses with other films and TV shows that could boost their Oscar chances: Olivia Colman, Amy Adams …
It always helps a potential Academy Award nominee if they feature in a second (or even third) project alongside the one they are hoping to be nominated for. At worst, it helps get their faces out there a bit more and gets a few more Oscar voters to notice them. At best, it helps them garner more votes from the various colleagues they’ve worked with over the two or three projects. It also serves as a timely reminder of their talent, skills, and range.

For example, it helped recent Best Actress nominee (for “Carol” in 2015) Cate Blanchett that she also appeared in “Cinderella” and “Truth” the same year. Likewise, appearing in Alex Garland‘s “Ex Machina” (2014) helped Alicia Vikander earn a Best Supporting Actress win Tom Hooper‘s “The Danish Girl.”

But which potential female nominees this year have other projects out that could give them a little boost
See full article at Gold Derby »

Oscar Experts’ Top 9 dark horse Supporting Actress picks: Michelle Yeoh, Elizabeth Debicki, Linda Cardellini …

Oscar Experts’ Top 9 dark horse Supporting Actress picks: Michelle Yeoh, Elizabeth Debicki, Linda Cardellini …
There may be no Oscar acting race where the Expert journalists we’ve polled are more divided than Best Supporting Actress. Most of them currently agree on the front-runner, Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”), but there are 13 other women they think could be nominated. The four likeliest to join King are Amy Adams (“Vice”), Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz (“The Favourite”) and Claire Foy (“First Man”). But who has the best chance to crash the party?

The following nine women are waiting in the wings, and each of them has a chance to get in according to at least one of our Experts. Who do you think we’re foolishly underestimating?

Sign UPfor Gold Derby’s free newsletter with latest predictions

Michelle Yeoh, “Crazy Rich Asians” (6 Experts) — As the disapproving matriarch of a wealthy Singapore family, Yeoh stands out from the ensemble cast, especially given her impressive career as a whole.
See full article at Gold Derby »

The Most Anticipated Films By Female Filmmakers In 2019

2018 may have revitalized the “Year of the Woman” in politics, but it was also an outstanding year for female filmmakers. Auteurs like Karyn Kusama (“Destroyer”), Debra Granik (“Leave No Trace”), and Lynne Ramsay (“You Were Never Really Here”) produced jaw-dropping independent dramas while smaller names like Jennifer Fox (“The Tale”), Chloe Zhao (“The Rider”), and Josephine Decker (“Madeline’s Madeline”) pushed the boundaries of filmmaking to create challenging works of art.

Continue reading The Most Anticipated Films By Female Filmmakers In 2019 at The Playlist.
See full article at The Playlist »

Destroyer – Review

Nicole Kidman stars as Erin Bell in Karyn Kusama’s Destroyer, an Annapurna Pictures release. Photo credit: Sabrina Lantos / Annapurna. Courtesy of Annapurna Pictures

This is not how we are used to seeing Nicole Kidman. Kidman plays snarling, violent, even grizzled Los Angeles police detective bent on vengeance, in the gritty crime thriller Destroyer.

Kidman also plays a younger, more innocent rookie cop version of the character, Erin Bell, in flashback. As the younger version, Kidman looks like herself, as we are used to seeing her, but as the older, hardened cop, she is nearly unrecognizable.

That Kidman’s character is damaged goods, and was once a far different person, as made clear by the reaction of her police co-workers when she appears unexpectedly at the crime scene that opens the film. A body with bullet holes is found in a little-visited area near the Los Angeles river, sparking a murder investigation,
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

‘Boy Erased’ interviews: Nicole Kidman, Joel Edgerton, Brett McLaughlin exclusive chats [Watch]

‘Boy Erased’ interviews: Nicole Kidman, Joel Edgerton, Brett McLaughlin exclusive chats [Watch]
The academy often loves movies about social justice issues, like “Milk” and “Spotlight” in recent years, so can “Boy Erased” have a strong showing at the Oscars as well? Based on the memoir by Garrard Conley, the film centers on a young gay man (Lucas Hedges) sent to conversion therapy by his devoutly religious parents (Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman). The film was written and directed by Joel Edgerton, who co-stars as the program’s instructor. Gold Derby recently spoke with Kidman, Edgerton and songwriter Brett McLaughlin about their work.

See Nicole Kidman movies: 14 greatest films, ranked worst to best, include ‘Boy Erased,’ ‘Moulin Rouge,’ ‘The Hours

Edgerton was taken with the story after his agent gave him the book. “I grew up with a deep fear of institutions and I had heard a little bit about gay conversion therapy, so my morbid curiosity led me to read it,” he explains.
See full article at Gold Derby »

Wamg speaks to Destroyer director Karyn Kusama and co-writer Phil Hay – Interview

Director Karyn Kusama and actor Nicole Kidman on the set of Destroyer, an Annapurna Pictures release.

The crime drama Destroyer stars Nicole Kidman as a hardened L.A. policewoman bent on vengeance, in a gritty role unlike anything she has ever played. The film is directed by Karyn Kusama from a script by Phil Hay, who is also Kusama’s husband, and his writing partner Matt Manfredi. Kusama’s breakout film was 2000’s Girlfight.

Karyn Kusuma, who grew up in St. Louis, and husband Phil Hay were in town last November for the 2018 St. Louis International Film Festival, where Destroyer made its local debut. The film-making couple spoke to a group of St. Louis-area film critics at a round-table interview.

Below is a portion of that interview. Questions from all film critic participants are combined, and the interview is edited for length and clarity. Destroyer opens Friday, January 18.

Interview with
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

‘Roma’ at the Oscars: Will film newcomer Yalitza Aparacio get a Best Actress nomination?

‘Roma’ at the Oscars: Will film newcomer Yalitza Aparacio get a Best Actress nomination?
Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” has won more major awards this Oscar season than any other movie and yet its star, Yalitza Aparacio, has only a Critics Choice nomination to show for the film’s exceptional cast. If the movie gets no acting nominations from the academy next week, its rivals will be buoyed in the hopes of upsetting it for the best picture Oscar. Only 11 times, and only twice this century, has a movie won the top award without an acting nomination.

It seems that voters for the Golden Globes, BAFTA and the Screen Actors Guild have gone out of their way to ignore the 25-year-old Aparacio. Four actresses – Olivia Colman, Lady Gaga, Glenn Close and Melissa McCarthy – were nominated for those awards and will almost surely be on the academy ballot, as well.

But the fifth spot that Aparacio should have locked down for SAG and BAFTA went to
See full article at Gold Derby »

Oscar Experts’ top 7 Best Actress surprises to watch for: Toni Collette, Nicole Kidman, Carey Mulligan …

Oscar Experts’ top 7 Best Actress surprises to watch for: Toni Collette, Nicole Kidman, Carey Mulligan …
Oscar voting closed on Monday, January 14, so there’s no more changing minds. Que será, será. Whatever will be, will be. But the future is ours to see, dammit! For instance, the 31 Expert journalists we’ve polled have settled on the five likeliest nominees for Best Actress: front-runner Glenn Close (“The Wife”) followed by Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”), Lady Gaga (“A Star is Born“), Melissa McCarthy (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”) and Yalitza Aparicio (“Roma”).

But is that lineup set in stone? As of this writing there are seven other women who are predicted to earn a bid by at least one Expert each. There are always surprises somewhere on the Oscar ballot, so keep an eye on these dark horse contenders.

Sign UPfor Gold Derby’s free newsletter with latest predictions

Emily Blunt, “Mary Poppins Returns“ (12 Experts) — Blunt is overdue for her first Oscar nomination, and this could be
See full article at Gold Derby »

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 »
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