|The very charming Charlotte Bless.|
Directed by Lee Daniels, best known for the award-winning Precious (2009), The Paperboy (2012) has had very mixed reviews but most agree that the best thing about the film is Nicole Kidman. In it she plays Charlotte Bless, a deliciously trashy 40-year-old blond who falls for a prisoner on death row that she has been corresponding with and although she has never met the man they are engaged to be married. Her role certainly deserved some recognition for Best Actress at the big award ceremonies but as usual she didn’t get it.
|Ward Jensen interviews Hillary von Wetter.|
Based on a novel of the same name by American author Pete Dexter it’s mainly located in the simmering sun drenched swamps of Louisiana in 1969. Hillary van Wetter (John Cusack) is on death row for the murder of Thurmond Call an unscrupulous local sheriff who it is alleged killed a cousin of van Wetter. Charlotte Bless requests the help of two Miami Times investigative journalists, Ward Jansen (Matthew McConaughey) and the Englishman Yardley Acheman (David Oyelowo), to prove that her beloved is innocent and should be released from prison so she can marry him. Ward, who is determined to get to the truth, is back on his home turf were his father and brother Jack (Zac Efron) are still living. Jack, who is to drive the two out of town reporters, has fallen in love with the sexpot Charlotte, which, as usual with matters of the heart, complicates things.
|Charlotte Bless pleads van wetter's case.|
Its not as if this gothic thriller is not enjoyable, as I have already pointed out the acting from our leading lady is, as Peter Bradshaw put it in his Cannes review, “terrifically good, funny, sexy, and poignantly vulnerable” Macy Grey is very amusing at Anita the family’s maid who also narrates the story. John Cusack is scary as van Wetter and the other three main stars play their parts effortlessly. But, yes there is a but, the film is flat, and by that I mean it does not move you, its unemotional, but if you like your movies to be fun and somewhat raunchy then give it a try.
|Who's taking who for a ride?|