Breaking the taboos, the rules, the clichés and expectations can help art to rise. It may also look like a teenager rebellion and disappoint quite a bit. With The Paperboy, Lee Daniels attempts to break everything previously cited, and with those our good opinion of him.
An unfair trial gathers a lost swimmer, a gay journalist, his racist black associate, a psycho presumed killer and a dyed blond kind hearted girl. This standing out Famous Five team might have been embodied in a really fine cast but it seems the actors were all here only to break their image. It really works too! It gets us to forget the high school Zac Efron and the loyal lawyer Matthew McConaughey. We even lost sight of our classy Chanel’s muse Nicole Kidman. John Cusack is the only one we are used to see like that and as he did before, he does the job of scaring us away really nicely.
After moving us all with Precious, Lee Daniels also seems to be reaching for a way to make us forget about it. Is breaking all the successful previous ways a wise strategy to get something good and new? This movie certainly doesn’t prove it. The director decides to hide any ounce of feelings that might have come out of his characters and prefers spreading a nightmare of violence in all ways it could be shown.
Pulling the worst out of every scene, every part of the plot, it seemed hard to get us to appreciate such a film. Adding some cheesy choices of editing and storytelling, he made it definitely impossible, for me at least. The actors’ good acting could be saluted but they made their proofs a long time ago.
Breaking fine art doesn’t always make a Marcel Duchamp; it is, before all, destroying and is a tricky game. Lee Daniels tried to play it and lost.