The Paperboy

The Paperboy. Cannes turned its nose up at the film but The Guardian has given it four out of five stars. The Paperboy is directed by Lee Daniels (also did Precious) with help of author of the 1995 novel,Pete Dexter. It’s set in the 1960s and is about a reporter named Ward  (Matthew McConaughey) who returns to his Florida hometown to investigate with his brother Jack (Zac Efron- main character) a case involving death row inmate, Hillary van Wetter (John Cusack). Ward also has help from his reporter friend Yardley (David Oyelowo) and Charlotte Bless (Nicole Kidman), a woman who has been sending letters to Hillary and say they are both in love. Now looking at various reports and that Cannes turned its nose up at the film, you will either love/like or hate the film. Like with any film I guess but this film is slightly different. The Guardian says its a film with an ‘undrained swamp of fear, black comedy and desire: nasty, sexy & at some points funny’. I don’t want to highly recommend the film because I know some will reply saying ‘I hated it why did you recommend it blah blah blah blah’ but if you like different films; films that not everyone sees the essence of it and like quirky films then this one is for you. If it was a music genre it would be a sub-genre of Alternative. Let me explain why I like it, why some others might and why people may not like it.

The film isn’t all about getting justice for Hillary van Wetter. It looks more at Jack (the brother – who is in fact the main character of the film) and how he falls for the common and older yet attractive Charlotte (Kidman). The scenes where we see them together – in the car outside the prison, on the beach and in the garden – make it like it’s a Summer fling (not they get it on loads) or to be honest, more of a wannabe fling during this one-off-reporting-case-is-going-on thing. As Charlotte states to Jack, he’s a young horny lad who needs some passion and a girl in his life and she is too old for him. And to be honest, I like this side to the story; this not forbidden but weird desire Jack has for Charlotte. But one of the problems with this film is that although the scenes flick from the romance Jack wants with Charlotte to Ward and Yardley trying to free Hillary, there aren’t enough scenes (or time) to explain or make it easier for people to understand the characters (though you can still get the gist). Don’t get me wrong, it’s not the actors who are doing wrong or suck, because the cast is great, it’s just there needs to be more scenes (or longer scenes) so people can connect more and feel all of character’s passions they have towards something (e.g. Jack for Charlotte and Ward for freeing Hillary). Like one review said there’s too much going on, and I kind of agree. It’s not so much ‘too much going on’ as in there loads of action but because there are not enough scenes to explain the character’s emotions it can feel like you have not missed but maybe not understand something. Plus for some reason Jack’s families’ maid (Macy Gray) keeps narrating when she doesn’t really need to be there. If there were more scenes I think Cannes would have loved it.

Anyway, the film is raunchy and dirty too. For the ladies, you get to see Jack’s (Zac Efron) body – so won’t be complaining and for the men you get to see an attractive Nicole Kidman, well a attractive Floridan Nicole Kidman Plus there are scenes where you see her have sex – just to give you a heads up. Some scenes are funny or awkwardly funny – for example Jack and Charlotte go to the beach (Jack has to look after Charlotte) and Jack goes swimming but something happens and in order to save Jack, Charlotte (to make it stand out more Nicole Kidman) has to do something – it’s worth watching the film just for that really. Oh, and the music. The 60s music in the film is amazing and really works. It clearly sets the scene and you really feel for it. As for the cast is great, especially Efron and Kidman.

But overall, I like it and I know of you will. I would suggest to see the film to find out wehther you do or don’t like it but I can’t promise you will. There needs to be more scenes but anyway it’s quirky, sexy, (with parts containing characters getting sexually aroused), dirty, occasionally funny and altogether an individual one-off film.

The Paperboy: 8.2/10. BUT I MUST STRESS, that’s only because it has features that I like and not necessary what you may also like.  It’s set in the 60s, a time period which fascinates me. In Florida, a state I have been to and like. Has a great cast and is not only about a crime and finding justice but is mainly about a young person falling/being in love and desiring someone.


2 thoughts on “The Paperboy

  1. I heard that was just a hot mess of a movie when it came out over here. Good, but uneven was how most of the reviews handled it. That’s what it still sounds like from your description. Maybe I’ll catch it on cable.

    1. Yeah I think there was a lot of stuff going on but with not so much vivid explanation to back it up. I’d suggest see it so you know what it is like but you may or may not like it.

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