donderdag 28 september 2017

100 Movie Challenge 2017 - # 102: The Paperboy

Director: Lee Daniels
Genre: Thriller/ Drama
Runtime: 107 minutes
Year: 2012
Starring: Zac Efron, Matthew McConaughey, Kohn Cusack, Nicole Kidman, David Oyelowo, Scott Glenn, Ned Bellamy, Macy Gray

Description: A reporter (Matthew McConaughey) returns to his Florida home-town to investigate a case involving a death row inmate (John Cusack).

Review: In 2009 director Lee Daniels gave us the strong drama “Precious”. And looking at the quality of that film, we know Daniels is an excellent director. That “The Paperboy” looks like a bad B-movie from the 70s is probably an artistic choice. Weird zooming, covering shots, strange flows. Especially the first half of the film looks a bit ugly. And there is a lot of shamelessness as well (that first prison visit was just too weird for me).
Bringing an ode to cinema can work well, just look at Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s “Grindhouse”. But for “The Paperboy” it doesn’t work as well. It’s not just an ode, Daniels adds some social themes to it. And because of that, you don’t know whether you have to go along with the pulp or focus on the deeper layers. The combo doesn’t work.
The atmosphere in the film is good, you feel that hot swampy summer. But Daniels didn’t manage to bring the characters to life. Because of the charged exploitation scenes, the characters stay a bit shallow. Most of them feel fake and you just don’t believe them, even though John Cusack and Matthew McConaughey deliver pretty good performances.
The mix of raw filth and psychological thriller and drama elements is interesting, but they stand in each other’s way. “The Paperboy” is a brave attempt, but not a very good film.

Rating: 2/ 5

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