TIFF REVIEW: The Paperboy
Mark Davis/ Ernesto Distefano/ Getty
I saw The Paperboy with a few friends. Half of them were thoroughly entertained, half of them were bored by it. I found myself caught somewhere in the middle.
The Paperboy, for those of you who are unfamiliar, is that movie where Nicole Kidman pees on Zac Efron. Or at least that’s how the gossip blogs are spinning it. And yes, it’s true; she does in fact pee on him. She pees all over him. But not in a sexual way, which is what one blog I read was implying. The real reason will remain a secret for now.
The movie is sexual, though. It’s steamy and rain soaked and dirty. At one point Kidman’s character rips open the crotch of her panty hose and simulates a blowjob…to completion. It’s that kind of dirty. The kind of dirty that has Zac Efron in the rain in his boxer briefs for at least half the movie, which I’m sure, will be reason enough for his fans to see it.
Kidman radiates with sexual energy. Her “bee-stung” lips actually work to her benefit… if you know what I mean. And she’s in top form. Her sizzling portrayal of Charlotte Bless, an oversexed, shell of a woman who falls in love with a prison inmate should definitely put her in the running come award season.
As for Efron, it’s made quite clear that director Lee Daniels likes him a lot. There’s not a shot in the film that doesn’t play on his good looks and glistening biceps. To Efron’s credit, he brings depth to Jack Jenson, a character that could have easily fallen flat as a one-note sexual object.
Matthew McConaughey, John Cusack and Macy Gray are equally strong. Gray is a stand out as Efron’s housekeeper, Anita. I’ve seen her act in films before but never quite like this. I have a feeling she’s going to a have big career in movies. Who would have guessed?
The problem I found was that there are two movies in one. The first is a sexy crime caper and the second, a gruesome thriller. Unfortunately, the two themes didn’t blend as seamlessly as they should have. And because of that, the movie ran too long.
Considering all the scandalous, headline-grabbing content the movie is chalk full of, I feel like people will see it just to satiate their curiosity. And in that regard, I don’t think they’ll be disappointed.
Attached - Efron at TIFF earlier this week