Nicole Kidman has been pushing in some unusual directions lately. But that adventurousness takes on an entirely new dimension in Chan-wook Park’s “Stoker,” a movie focusing on an unstable woman who lives in a Gothic house (Kidman), her moody daughter (Mia Wasikowska) and her mysterious brother in-law (Matthew Goode), who shows up after her husband passes away.
Kidman plays Evie, a woman who is hardly an ideal mother and may be overlooking or even enabling some pretty macabre behavior. It’s a repressed aristocratic role that’s 180-degrees from her part as a brassy, working-class sexpot in Lee Daniels' swampy melodrama “The Paperboy.”
“I probably won’t get two characters more diverse than this,” the actress said with a laugh about “Stoker,” which she began shooting just one week after “Paperboy.” “They really are the two extremes.” (You can watch excerpts of the interview with Kidman, Goode and Wasikowska in the adjacent video.)
Without spoiling some of its surprises, Park’s film, his first in English, is a chilly, stylized and sometimes grisly look at family and youth. Like his Korean-language movies “Old Boy” and “Thirst,” it both contains violence and offers a meta-exploration of it.