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A sexually and racially charged film noir from Oscar-nominated director Lee Daniels (‘Precious’), ‘The Paperboy’ takes audiences on a wild ride through the backwaters of steamy 1960s South Florida. Based on the provocative bestselling novel by Pete Dexter (‘Mulholland Falls’, ‘Rush’), the film stars Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, David Oyelowo, Macy Gray, John Cusack and Academy Award-winner Nicole Kidman.
Miami Times reporter Ward Jansen (Matthew McConaughey) returns to his sleepy hometown of Lately, Florida, where a decades-old façade of Southern gentility strains against the sweeping social changes of the 1960s. Accompanied by his writing partner Yardley Acheman (David Oyelowo) and sultry death-row groupie Charlotte Bless (Nicole Kidman), Ward is chasing the career-making story of violent swamp rat Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack), who claims to have been framed for the murder of a corrupt local sheriff. Drafting his younger brother Jack (Zac Efron) to serve as his driver, Ward tries to unravel the mystery of the crime, aided by a mountain of evidence Charlotte has amassed to prove Van Wetter’s innocence.
As the prisoner awaits the electric chair, the Jansen family’s longtime maid Anita (Macy Gray) watches in alarm as Jack becomes more and more infatuated with the alluring Charlotte. But when Ward’s investigation reveals a web of deception, it sets off an explosive chain reaction that pulls everyone involved into a quagmire of evil as dark as a Florida bayou.
Inspired by a true story, ‘The Paperboy’s tale of obsession, violence and ambition earned a nomination for the 2012 Cannes Film Festival’s highest prize, the coveted Palme d’ Or.
‘The Paperboy’ is written and directed by Lee Daniels based on the novel by Pete Dexter (‘Paris Trout’).
For more than 15 years, Lee Daniels has been challenging conventional Hollywood wisdom by making uncompromising films that shine a light onto the inner worlds of the forgotten, the unheralded and the downtrodden. First as the producer of startling and acclaimed films including ‘Monster’s Ball’ and ‘The Woodsman’, then as director of the poignant, shocking Oscar-winner ‘Precious’, Daniels has transformed characters rarely portrayed in mainstream films, including an illiterate, street-smart teen, a lonely racist prison guard and a conflicted and angry child molester, into sympathetic anti-heroes.
In his feature-film writing debut, Daniels adapted Pete Dexter’s hard-boiled crime thriller, ‘The Paperboy’, into a gritty, darkly funny and Byzantine journey set in an out-of-the-way Florida town in 1969. An incendiary mix of race, sex and deception, ‘The Paperboy’ turns a tense murder investigation into a fearless exploration of love, corruption and family bonds.