At a recent press conference in Cannes, Nicole Kidman said that she was "willing to fail," if that was the price to pay for taking risks in her career. She may start wishing that she'd never uttered those words, pretty soon, though as it looks as though she may have tempted fate. Her latest movie 'The Paperboy' movie debuted at Cannes this week, though it does not open anywhere else until later this year. So far, the reviews that have come from the Cannes screening have been mixed.
The main gripes with the movie, which was shot on a shoestring budget, appear to be with the director Lee Daniels, rather than Nicole, or her co-stars, Matthew Mcconaughey, Zac Efron and John Cusack. The Daily Telegraph's critic, Robbie Collin, argued that watching The Paperboy felt like watching "clips from around 20 other films, none of them good, sandwiched back to back, and the talented cast can only grit their teeth." Similarly, The Guardian's Xan Brooks criticized Daniels for "grabbing hold of Pete Dexter's splendidly lean and lethal source novel and gorging it on so much junk-food that the plot plays out as a series of cardiac arrests."
It wasn't all bad news for the film, which tells the story of a woman who writes letters to a death row inmate and the young man who falls for her. Brooks' Guardian colleague Peter Bradshaw gave a more forgiving review, saying "This gripping, scary and queasily funny picture nurtures a dark threat which lurks like one of its gators just below the surface." So far, reviewers seem to be split down the middle for Kidman's latest venture. Although the criticism seems to be placed on the director's shoulders, when a movie sinks, a little bit of the actors' reputations usually goes with it.