24 May 2012 4:07 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Nicole Kidman's performance is To Die For in Lee Daniels's gripping, scary and queasily funny Florida noir

A heady, humid swamp fever rises from Lee Daniels's violent and black-comic Florida noir The Paperboy, based on the thriller by Pete Dexter: a lazy, funny tone co-exists with menace, and Nicole Kidman gives her best performance since To Die For. Race, sex, journalism, publishing and 60s America are all part of the mix – The Help was never like this – and Daniels keeps it bubbling. This gripping, scary and queasily funny picture nurtures a dark threat which lurks like one of its gators just below the surface.

Apart from everything else, The Paperboy is about family dysfunction: Scott Glenn plays Ww, a smalltown Florida newspaper publisher whose louche son Ward (Matthew McConaughey), having gone into the family business, has just come in from Miami on a mission to write »

- Peter Bradshaw

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