Nicole Kidman returns to stunning form as a trailer-trash 'over-sexed Barbie' in The Paperboy
09:40 GMT, 24 May 2012
Nicole Kidman is like a trailer-trash Brigitte Bardot. all dirty blonde in black false eyelashes, whorish make-up and hot to trot, giving a performance in The Paperboy that will leave you with your mouth wide open in shock, and delight.
One amazing scene has her in a Sharon Stone Basic Instinct situation where she tantalises a killer who sits opposite her in chains.
As she writhes in her seat and sexually provokes the man, a devastating happy ending is reached. It's a dangerous moment but Kidman, at her most sexually overt, pulls it off.
Nicole plays Charlotte Bless a hairstylist whose time is taken up writing to men behind bars.
That's how she gets her kicks. She hits her kind of paydirt when she connects with condemned killer Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack) who is in jail for the savage murder of a Florida swamp town sheriff.
'He thinks I'm his angel', Charlotte tells her co-workers after van Wetter writes and declares his love for her.
This makes Charlotte re-double her efforts to get Van Wetter freed.
She enlists support from 2 newspaper men played by Matthew McConaughey and David Oyelowo.
Zac Efron , playing McConaughey's brother Jack, gets to drive them around as they visit Van Wetter in jail and gather evidence to help the murderer gain his freedom.
Director Lee Daniels who made the Oscar winning film Precious knows how to garner terrific performances from his cast which also includes singer Macy Gray playing a maid who narrates the story.
We know Kidman can act and she's great here as a sort of over-sexed Barbie whose not the brightest of babes.
Daniels pushes Kidman to make her glamour serve the role and she knocks it right out of the park.
So too does Efron who is made to use his own cover boy hot looks to tease. He prances around in his briefs or swimming trunks and he gives his all.
The scene that will be most talked about comes when Efron and Kidman are on a beach and Kidman's Charlotte comes to the young man's aid when he's stung by jelly-fish.
'If anyone's going to pee on him it's going to be me', she insists when she's told that urine will ease the jelly-fish sting.
The film has lurid and dark moments that Daniels has taken from the film's source Pete Dexter's novel The Paperboy.
The film links the corruption of ambitious journalists, to the corruption of a man's black heart and soul.
The psychology of The Paperboy is fascinating but I think it will be remembered for the extraordinary skill Nicole Kidman was able to use as a woman who flaunts her body and taunts her men to brilliant cinematic effect.