Nicole Kidman Takes Over Telluride Film Festival With Two New Acclaimed Roles In ‘Boy Erased’ And ‘Destroyer’

As to why she chose to be seen in a transformative way we have never seen her before in Destroyer which was directed by Karyn Kasuma and is about as gritty as movies get, it was
On the other hand the devoutly religious real- life southern  mother she plays in Boy Erased, based on the memoir by Garrard Conley (played very effectively in the film by Lucas Hedges) in which his preacher father (an excellent Russell Crowe) sends him to a conversion camp in order to erase any feelings of attraction to men, is every bit as impressive. She is gonna have a hell of a Fall when these two films open beginning in November with Focus Features' Boy Erased on the 2nd, and Annapurna's Christmas Day release of Destroyer (In between just for fun she will be seen as Aquaman's mother!) If all goes smoothly I can see a world in which Kidman could find herself in the running not only for the Best Actress Oscar for Destroyer, but also Best Supporting Actress for Boy Erased. Whenever Kidman is around there is usually awards talk, and this weekend has been no different , especially after the debut of Destroyer in which she goes places I have never seen her go before, both  in appearance and intensity as a police detective who is also a mother, and on a downward spiral after an undercover operation that went very wrong. Kidman ranges from fierce to ferocious to sensitive, to defeated, to determined  and so many other facets in a role that is simply riveting to watch in every way. The film flashes back and forward in time  to put the pieces of the puzzle of this damaged woman together in ways that quite unexpected to say the least.
We are seeing two distinct sides of that talent in World Premieres of both her uber-gritty cop drama, Destroyer, and the less startling but touching humanity of the mother trying to hold here family together after her son is sent to an Arkansas gay conversion camp in Joel Edgerton's tremendously powerful and moving true story, Boy Erased. If this 45th edition of the Telluride Film Festival can be said to be about anybody , way up at the front of that line is Nicole Kidman who is here seen on screens showing the huge range and fearlessness she has done for years in this business.
So then I called up and they said ‘oh it is on offer to another actress, which is fine’. It  was actually written a little younger but then they worked  out a way for it actually to be for an older actress and I was able to step in and make it my own, and that’s just the way things happen,"  she said during a Q&A after a screening of the film. I got taught early on when you really get into a character you are not running  for popularity on a film set. It is what I call the limbo and I just exist in a place that’s uncomfortable if it’s this kind of character." "I do have a strong belief that you can push a bit , but things either gel or they don’t, they come together or they don’t. "I got sent the script and just read it and it grabbed me in my gut. You ‘re there to do the work, and so a lot of times , like with this character, you are just going to have to exist in that place. I don’t even know why I respond to things but when it happens I go ‘okay this is what I am meant to do now’. I would sit in a chair and not talk to anybody. clearly something that spoke to her. It was a really really tough shoot for me, and it was a really tough character for me to play, and I did not like playing it.
When she emotionally shouts, "shame on you, shame on me"  as she grabs her son and runs to the car, the audience burst out into applause. A pivotal scene, as it turns out the first one she filmed upon arriving on location, has her character heeding the desperate pleas of her son to pick him up and take him home from the conversion camp  even as the officials there try to lock her out and keep him there. It is a bravura moment.
"I am not planned. Kidman consistently looks for interesting roles like these as she told Telluride audiences this weekend, but she doesn't have a general blueprint for what she will do.
I don’t care how big the role is, how small the role is, I just want to be able to contribute,"  she said.  "When I heard the subject matter I said that’s really important and I would love to be involved. "I love that the mother is the one that is the bridge , that is able to go ‘I want to keep this family together’. I’ve had my own mother, not with this subject,  but in terms of  just sitting at a kitchen table beating her fists on the table going ‘THIS FAMILY WILL STAY TOGETHER’. In the case of Boy Erased,she was approached by fellow Australian Edgerton ( who plays the head of the camp in the film he wrote and directed), and immediately felt an urgency to be part of it as she explained at yet another Q&A after a screening of that film.   That’s how I feel and no matter what happens in the family the mother so many times tends to be the heartbeat of the family."
I have often caught up with Kidman at high profile film fests like Cannes and Toronto where she has also had years with multiple films on
I also grew up with provocative parents who kind of pushed me. Some times it pays off , and some times it doesn’t but I love  what I do, and the passion for that , and that is why I am willing to work and work and work to try and dig and delve into characters and stories and places, and discover things, and just connect. I have  kind of been pulled to it since I was a little girl and I have just followed that instinct. I started in the Australian film industry sitting on an apple box lucky to have a job, and I still approach it that way. I have a huge love of filmmakers. I have been given some great chances from different directors, and I have been up and down with  ebbs and flows in my career. Or sometimes not connect, sometimes it doesn’t happen but always the desire is to fully immerse myself in it, and I think I can be very very hard on myself and disappoint myself , and  so I have to be careful with that, but I do say thank you , and say thank you so much for giving me the chance to be 51 years old and still doing what I love to do." I also loved reading. "I mean there are so many great actors out there and it is just when you get the chance or not. I grew up around storytellers and filmmakers. So put all that together and I would consider myself very lucky to have the opportunity, because so much of being an actor is just having the opportunity,"  she said.
 ” />
With husband Keith Urban, their kids, and even their two cats  along for the trip to the Rockies, she came to play – both personally with the family, and professionally on the massively impressive screens set up each year in skating rinks and high school auditoriums instantly turned into movie palaces. display, but when I talked with her at the beginning of this fest at the annual Patrons Brunch high on a mountaintop she surprised me by telling me this was actually her first time ever at the Telluride Film Festival , but that she was already loving it (something she emphasized all weekend at various venues before leaving town Sunday night).