With Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, Nicole Kidman, John Cusack, Macy Gray
Written by Pete Dexter
Directed by Lee Daniels
I was unaware of this gritty movie’s existence until it made its way via DVD release. Set in a humid, sweaty, swampy Florida of the late-'60s, newspaper reporters are following the story of an antisocial creep Hillary Van Wetter (played by Cusack) on death row for the murder of a county sheriff.
This is all seen through the eyes of a young man, Jack (played by Ephron, proving to be a noted dramatic actor), the son of the newspaper owner and brother of Ward, one of the reporters (played by a pre-Oscar winning McConaughey, on form as always). Jack is hired by his brother as a driver, as they investigate the case with the possibility of the man being innocent. Kidman takes a risky turn as Charlotte, the unbalanced, sexually charged woman obsessed with the accused killer, Ephron in turn obsessed by the sultry vixen.
Conflicts and passions abound as the various relationships bounce off one another, some very dark and deadly revelations afoot. Family issues, sex, justice, racial tension and violence all make up a great part of the fuel for this story's fire.
I wasn’t expecting too much and watched this out of formality, but ended up enjoying this sticky movie, oozing atmosphere and delivering some shocking surprises and good performances, including Macy Gray (who I can stomach more as an actress than a musician).
4 / B
- Paul Blom
2 3 4
- A - B - C
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