New York Film Festival Preview: The Paperboy

(Re-posted from Limité


Screening: Wednesday, October 3, 8:30pm (opens in limited release on Friday, October 5)

Venue: Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, NYC

Series: NYFF50: Main Slate

Set in 1960s racially charged southern Florida, two journalists (Matthew McConaughey and David Oyelowo) attempt to exonerate a convicted man (John Cusack) for the murder of a despicable sheriff. Meanwhile, the younger brother (Zac Efron) of one of the journalists falls for the woman (Nicole Kidman) who is romantically linked to the accused man.

In his follow-up to the Oscar-winning Precious (2009), Lee Daniels turns in another film adaptation of a mid 1990s novel with hints of intensity and grit seen in its predecessor. Though at times unnerving to watch, The Paperboy is enveloped by a vintage look, feel, and sound that is reminiscent of the movies in which the story is set, creating a refreshing feast for the eyes not often provided by today’s cineplex fodder. McConaughey turns in another staggering performance on the heels of previous successes this year, including roles in Killer Joe and Magic Mike. Kidman is as stunning as usual, depicting certain provocative characteristics not often seen from her in other roles. Cusack does something spectacular in this film, carving out a role that will etch itself in viewers’ long-term memories and demand the Academy’s attention. Finally, Efron shatters the Disney mold from which he was born and proves that he’s fully capable of taking on roles that are diverse and far reaching. Prior to Daniels’s involvement, Oscar-winning Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar (The Skin I Live In, 2011; Talk to Her, 2002) was slated to direct this film. Though Almodóvar would have undoubtedly done something special with his version, Daniels proves that his own voice is one worth listening to.

Limité Rating: 5/5

Director: Lee Daniels

Genres: Narrative, Drama

Country: USA

Language: English

Runtime: 107 min.

The 50th New York Film Festival runs from September 28 – October 14, 2012.

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