The Paperboy: "He Never Did Get Over His First True Love"

Director: Lee Daniels
Writer:    Lee Daniels
               Pete Dexter
Starring: Zac Efron
               Nicole Kidman
               Matthew McConaughey
               John Cusack
               Macy Gray
               David Oyelowo
Rating:    ***

Release Date: 15/03/2013

I am a huge fan of Lee Daniels work, with Precious being one of my all time favourite films, so when I started to hear more and more about this film (and all the controversy surrounding it) I felt absolute excitement over the prospect. With a terrific cast, a dark and intriguing storyline, and what looked like a genuinely engrossing film, I could not have been happier; however the finished product left me rather bored and wanting more, and not even in a good way.
Matthew McConaughey & Zac Efron
Ward Jansen (McConaughey) is a reporter who has taken it upon himself to investigate and try and free a man on death row, Hillary Van Wetter (Cusack). Jansen is sure that not everything is as it seems with the case, so he and his younger brother Jack (Efron) do all they can to free him. They receive help from the mysterious and sexual Charlotte Bless (Kidman), a woman who became Wetter's pen pal and has slowly fallen in love with him. As the investigation goes on, Jack begins to fall for Charlotte and a bizarre and dangerous chemistry starts to form between them.

She was Jack's first love and sadly for him, they manage to free Wetter and he and Charlotte move away together. Just as he thinks he has lost her, she notifies Jack that things aren't quite happily ever after for her; and when he and his brother Ward go to save her, things take a fatal turn for the worse.
It truly is a gripping and engaging tale of love, innocence being lost, growing up, murder and deception and there are some real moments of gold in amongst the mismatched casting. Efron and Kidman failed to conjure any spark or electricity together, which meant the whole forbidden love plot point is completely lost and actually quite awkward to watch. John Cusack is terrific as the murderous and twisted Hillary Van Wetter, bringing a real unhinged and dark quality to the proceedings.
It is, however McConaughey that truly lets the film down; his complete lack of talent, ability to add layers to a character r screen presence really do all they can to destroy his scenes, and it is this reason why one of my favourite director's films has only received a 3 star rating, something I didn't want to do.
The Paperboy - Trailer