According to Indiewire‘s Jay A. Fernandez, early Cannes reactions to Lee Daniels‘ The Paperboy “suggest the film has more in common with Daniels’ Shadowboxer, an arty action film that left critics’ jaws agape, rather than the crowd-pleasing Precious.
“While there was praise for Nicole Kidman‘s performance as the trashy would-be lover of John Cusack‘s death-row inmate, one buyer described The Paperboy as a ‘trainwreck.’ Another gave the film a backhanded compliment: ‘It’s a movie you have to see. You want to talk about it.’
Adapted by Daniels from Pete Dexter’s novel and set in 1969 Florida, The Paperboy is about a reporter (Matthew McConaughey) and his younger brother (Zac Efron) investigating events surrounding a murder to free a man on death row (John Cusack). It also stars David Oyelowo and Scott Glenn.
If that “trainwreck” remark is even half on the money, McConaughey will be looking to his other Cannes film, Jeff Nichols‘ Mud (which I’ve frankly heard is just okay), to save the day.
I had a pretty bad time with Shadowboxer at the Santa Barbara Film Festival four or five years ago, and I wasn’t that much of a fan of Precious, largely due to the agony of having to spend time with M’onique‘s godawful mom-from-hell.