The Paperboy


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But how very wrong he was.

The Paperboy

I was almost alone in laughing in the stalls and turned to see a row of wrinkled cinephile noses. All the silverback gorillas of auteur world cinema were getting respect that year, no matter how torpid and unfinished their movies.

But not Daniels. The laugh-with got twisted into laugh-at. Having said this, I will concede some substance in the chief objection, that the movie fails to approximate the subtlety and nuance of the novel. That's true: it does.


  1. ‘The Paperboy,’ by Lee Daniels, Stars Nicole Kidman.
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On purpose. Working with Dexter on the screenplay, Daniels has turned The Paperboy into something different: more overt, bigger, brassier, more scandalous.

Zac Efron dancing with Nicole Kidman (the paperboy)

The movie's most gobsmacking scene is that in which Jack gets near-fatally stung by jellyfish during a sexually frustrating beach trip with Charlotte, and the only treatment is a liberal splash of human urine. Compare this scene with the same moment in the book, and you'll see how it has been changed and improved as drama. The obviousness works. That jellyfish scene is a firework display of offensiveness.

Even more so is a jaw-slackening sequence in which Ward, Jack and Yardley file into the jail visitors' area with Charlotte, but any discussion of the case is halted while Charlotte and a shackled Van Wetter have prison-visitor sex.

The Paperboy Reviews - Metacritic

At a no-hands distance, with the guard looking the other way — and the journalists hardly knowing where to look — Charlotte romantically gets her pop-eyed, puffy-faced fiance off by ripping her pantyhose and rubbing herself. Daniels gives us a full-on upskirt shot, made even pornier by the fact that at this stage she still has her underwear in place. It is a great scene, inspired in its lack of middlebrow restraint.

But the sheer crassness is also there to showcase what is important elsewhere about the film: the languor and frustration of having nothing to do. Yardley and Ward and Jack and Charlotte are crucially shown hanging open-endedly around all summer long, waiting for a break, nursing their suspicions and frustrations. The point is not Van Wetter.

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She could have been the model for the dames on the paperback covers of Mickey Spillane steamers in the s. Charlotte has never met Hillary Van Wetter, but they've been corresponding and are engaged to be married. I know a lot of women fall in love with men on Death Row, but Charlotte is a case study. She's in love with the very hopelessness of her romance, its masochistic idealism.

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In a scene that defies description, Ward and Jack take her for her first in-person meeting with Hillary, and so much does their romance reside in their fevered minds that they achieve simultaneous orgasm while 10 feet apart. A scene like that takes courage, but Nicole Kidman isn't finished.

Charlotte is a merciless flirt around poor Jack, a champion swimmer who has been booted out of college and comes home to deliver papers for the local newspaper owned by his father Scott Glenn. His lean and muscular body seems to contain a brain that is not in equally great shape.

Charlotte reclines seductively on the beach next to him, with various bits peeking out in friendliness from beneath her bikini. To cool off, Jack plunges into the ocean and is attacked by jellyfish. Half-conscious, he crawls ashore, and some local girls scream that the allergic reaction can be reversed by quickly urinating on him.

That's the kind of life-saving information, which, if true, you'd think would be widely known.

7 Things You Better Know Before Seeing (Or Not Seeing) ‘The Paperboy’

Whether it works or not, you will discover in "The Paperboy. This lurid story begins by being told in flashback by the Jansen family's cook and maid, Anita Chester Macy Gray , who has seen some hard times since the events took place. MacDonald , who all seem to draw a peculiar inspiration from the murks of Florida.

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