Friday, 22 August 2014

The Paperboy

Watching The Paperboy. I read the book and really didn't like it, though –or because of this - it is one of the rarest books I have ever read start to finish. I'm not saying it's not good, but it's ridiculously depressing though it needn't be and it defeats the human condition, pretty much the same way True Detective did, or would, if it ended too badly.

The film, about a third in, is not half as bad as they said. It will probably get a lot worse later on, what with the chasing and the fast pace, ruining the pace of the book. Hollywood, despite the grainy footage of the 70’s palette, tends to understand just the spice of the story, not the meat, and judging from the trailer, this is what I’ll be in store for, if I watch it through. I don't remember if Yardley was a black character in the novel, but putting him black here is oddly rewarding. This is, after all, the south in its worst and people look at him and talk about him truly shamefully. »He's mighty sure of himself for a coloured.« He talks with a bit of an accent, so he might be European and although fully ready for the redneck attitude of the Tennessee folk, he is still constantly faced with it in broad daylight. Like people just suddenly decided to massively hate something for no good reason, just very consistently. Like any colour. Green or whatever. His role here is not of a sleazy reporter as much as a fish out of water. McConaughey is pre-Dallas Buyers Club-generic. The characters of Hillary and Charlotte are somewhat changed, but although I am a fan of neither John Cusack, thinking him repetitive and stupid, nor of Nicole Kidman, who always looks on uppers and Botox, their scenes look just the right amount of horrible to, in my opinion, get the scenes in the book. 

The fact that Macy Gray as Anita is narrating the whole thing is also an odd, oddly functional approach. She is very weird. I really like her attitude in this film.