The Paperboy (Full Version)

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Empire Admin -> The Paperboy (15/3/2013 6:02:05 PM)

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R W -> The Paperboy (15/3/2013 6:02:05 PM)

While Matthew McConaughey is having a renaissance with William Friedkin’s Killer Joe and Steven Soderbergh’s Magic Mike where he is at his best since ever, Nicole Kidman is embracing a dark side with Park Chan-wook’s Stoker and now Precious director Lee Daniels’ controversial adaptation of Pete Dexter’s 1995 novel.

Along with his older brother Ward (McConaughey) who is an idealistic journalist returning to his hometown, Jack Jensen (Zac Efron) investigates the events surrounding a murder in an effort to exonerate a man on death row, Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack), who has been jailed for the murder of an unscrupulous local sheriff. During the investigation, Jack becomes infatuated with the white trash blonde Charlotte (Kidman) who is to be Van Wetter’s future bride.

Following the emotional difficultly of Precious, Daniels’ latest offering is not one of emotion but it pushes the griminess of 1960s small-town Florida as far as it could, in terms of racism, sexuality and particularly trailer trash behaviour, coming mostly from Nicole Kidman’s extraordinary performance as Charlotte (more on whom later).

Co-written by the author of the book, the main plot involving the investigation of whether or not the antagonistic Hillary committed the murder of the sheriff is actually secondary to the character dynamics. Ward’s black colleague Yardley (David Oyelowo) says to Jack that everyone has a dark side, so the film is centrally an exploration of the darkness of all these characters, some express theirs in an instant and others hide it in the closet.

For a film that plays it over-the-top and moments that doesn’t quite make sense such as Macy Gray’s terrific supporting performance who is strangely the narrator, The Paperboy is a bit of a mess; even the editing feels like an egg scramble. Despite its loose plot, the individual scenes are what stand out, such as the much discussed sequence involving Jack being stung by jelly fish, resulting in Charlotte urinating on his face to neutralise the stings.

While Matthew McConaughey continues his re-emergence as he shows more depth than what you expect from him, Zac Efron is really showing a grown-up side as a young man in love with a much older woman, while spending a lot of time in his undies. Nicole Kidman, on the other hand, is fantastic as the slutty blonde bombshell that has a knack for nasty sex, as best established in a non-physical sexual encounter with a very creepy John Cusack.

Muddled and over-the-top, along with well-established actors being thrown in the deep end such as an extremely impressive Nicole Kidman, The Paperboy works in some places as oppose to the whole.

SarahBanks195 -> RE: The Paperboy (18/3/2013 3:13:44 PM)

This film I believe is one you'll either love or hate

As like most reviews I have seen eg

The film is one that will divide audiences, you will either embrace the unusual and a little disturbing storyline or you will hate it

thearchitect -> A cult classic in the making, but completely barmy (22/3/2013 1:48:40 PM)

Read the full review over at my site

ROTGUT -> SHOCK TACTICS..... (23/8/2013 4:35:07 PM)

Zac Effron running around in his skimpies for half the running time didn’t do anything for me I’m afraid and the sight of Nicole Kidman’s “Niagara falls” impersonation would have been better left on the cutting room floor, but as a piece of trash entertainment – it works – up to a point. This isn’t a film to watch with your mum – unless she’s broad minded, not easily offended and doesn’t mind the sight of claret. The racist undertones were quite potent – but the languid pacing may well send you off to sleep and the plot (such as it is) seems to take a wilful back seat at times in favour of the hysterical in your face performances. Killer Joe is a good comparison, but where that particular movie had a nice line in dark humour – Lee Daniel’s film takes a wholly more nihilistic approach. This isn’t a good guys /bad guys type of story – only various shades of wicked. Hats off to Kidman and co. for giving it their all – even though the end results come across as little more than showboating
(I WANT ANOTHER OSCAR NOMINATION DAMMIT!!!) – but at least Daniels is proving himself to be an astute director of note who doesn’t seem to be afraid to take risks. THREE STARS

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