Thursday, 9 May 2013
The Paperboy (2012) - ★★★½
Writers: Peter Dexter (Novel and Screenplay), Lee Daniels (Screenplay)
Stars: Zac Efron, Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, Macy Gray, David Oyelowo
It's gritty, it's nasty, but most of all it's entertaining. The Paperboy pushes every single actor involved to perform roles you'd never imagine them to play. Though it didn't always keep my attention, the performances alone were enough to make this a very interesting movie. That's also the problem; a movie can't be that good when the performances are by far the best component.
Reporter Ward Jansen (McConaughey), returns to his hometown to investigate the gruesome murder of a well-hated sheriff. His younger brother Jack (Efron), tags along in the investigation. They believe that the man arrested for the murder, Hillary (John Cusack), is innocent. A wild and promiscuous Southern beauty named Charlotte (Nicole Kidman), believes that Hillary is her soulmate, so she also joins the investigation. It's a pretty simple story that's shaken up with wacky occurrences.
As a whole, this movie isn't that great. It felt overly long. In the last 20 minutes I just wanted it to be over. Even though we see the characters in many crazy situations, we never really get to know any of them. In a film full of highly interesting people, it would have been nice to see a glimpse of real human emotion once in a while. I think that in the hands of Quentin Tarantino, this movie could have been great. The material was there, it just needed a spark to make it electrifying.
I was extremely surprised at how high-calibre the performances were. Literally everyone blew me away. My special mention goes to Macy Gray, who played the housekeeper of The Jansen's. She brought hilarity and soul to the movie. Zac Efron has certainly grown into a really good actor, with a performance that demands he be taken seriously. Not only was he a pleasure to look at, but he played the role brilliantly. McConaughey surprised me the most though, because his character (though reserved in appearance) had some pretty embarrassing fetishes.
I'm pretty sure almost anyone who has seen the movie would agree that Nicole Kidman gave the greatest performance of the lot. Her character was so dirty... I mean really, really trashy. That didn't make her a bad person at all. She was clearly an uneducated, misguided person that thinks that being in-love is more important than anything else in the world. Even so, she was the quirkiest, funniest, most interesting person in the movie. If it wasn't for Kidman's performance, this wouldn't be half as good.
This movie is not for everyone. It's been slammed by critics and rated poorly by us average-joes. Well I enjoyed this trashy movie, even with the filth and insanity. I think you're either going to be pleasantly surprised by this film, or absolutely disgusted with its content. No matter which way you take it, The Paperboy is certainly different.