The Paperboy. What can I say? I honestly went into this media screening with apprehension and trepidation. It isn't usually the sort of genre I find myself watching. However, what little bias I held quickly dissipated as I found myself thoroughly enjoying it! It comes as no surprise that this little gem was nominated for Best Film at the 65th Cannes Film Festival.
Directed by Lee Daniels, director of the highly claimed Precious, The Paperboy (based on the 1995 novel of the same name written by Pete Dexter) begins with the introduction of the narrator, played by songstress Macy Gray, who is also the housemaid of the movies two main characters, brothers, played by Matthew McConaughey and Zac Efron.
Efron plays an ex college student with no hope of heading anywhere soon and when his brother (McConaughey), a writer for a big newspaper in the big smoke, and his writing partner, played by David Oyelowo, comes back into town to write an article on a supposed injustice regarding a convicted murderer on deathrow, he jumps at the chance of playing chauffeur.
Enter Nicole Kidman. Playing a trailer trash belle by the name of Charlotte Bless, she's looking for love in all the wrong places. This time her latest 'true love' happens to be previously mentioned convict Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack), whom she has been corresponding with via mail.
Together, Kidman, McConaughey, Efron and Oyelowo go about investigating the events that surround the conviction of an "innocent" man. Not to mention all the little side-stories, including the ever growing infatuation on Efron's part with the often barely clad Miss Bless, that develop along the way, this movie had me hooked and wanting more.
Stellar performances in all areas, from narration by Gray, the slow waning of innocence in Efron's character to the I-should-look-away-but-can't sex scenes between Cusack and Kidman, this movie had me laughing out loud, flinching in horror and grimacing in disgust. One scene I even had my eyes closed! Still, I found it utterly compelling, gritty, meaty and I enjoyed every minute of it. I highly recommend adding it to your "must see" movies of 2013.