The Paperboy, by American author Pete Dexter, has been adapted for film by the author and director Lee Daniels. Based on a true story of an unpopular murdered sheriff in the steamy bayous of Florida in the 1960s, it opened to a mixed reception at the Cannes Film Festival in 2012.
The film is a mix of sex, homicide, obsession, and degradation. It has a strong cast and is gripping in a rather melodramatic 107 minutes. At times it is episodic and fragmented and there are some disturbing scenes of sex and violence.
Hillary Van Wetter, played by a sleazy and bloated John Cusack, has been convicted of murder and sentenced to the electric chair. Romantically attracted Charlotte Bless – a barely recognizable Nicole Kidman, has fallen in love with him during his time in jail. She hopes that by enlisting the help of ambitious investigative newspaper reporters, she can secure his release, then marry him.
Ward Jansen (Matthew McConaughey) and Yardley Acheman (David Oyelowo) are the reporters seeking to prove the innocence of the convicted man.
The gorgeous Zac Zeffron plays frustrated Jack, falling into first love with the sluttish Charlotte.
John Cusak said that working with Nicole Kidman “was like working without a net.” There is explicit rough sex.
All does not end well!
This is an entertaining thriller, with an outstanding performance from Nicole Kidman.
Now showing at Luna Leederville.