CANNES REVIEW: The Paperboy

The Paperboy
Directed by: Lee Daniels
Written by: Lee Daniels & Peter Dexter (screenplay), Peter Dexter (novel)
Starring: Zac Efron, Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman and John Cusack

The morning screening of Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy was greeted with loud boos as well as sincere applause at Cannes, embracing the inevitable debate that will likely follow it when it washes up in the U.S.  It is a highly stylized look at 1960s Florida that transports the fashion and the social constraints without laying it on too thick.

Daniels’ directs the hell out of the movie, deconstructing the typical murder thriller plot into something that deliberately denies the audience a satisfactory conclusion.  There are scenes that wildly break the tone and stick out like a sore thumb, like a decidedly awkward, sort-of sexual early encounter between Nicole Kidman’s Charlotte and her imprisoned flame Hillary (John Cusack) during their visitation in front of his lawyers.

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