Cutting a film trailer is something of an artform – get it right, and even the worst movie can look like a blockbuster. Screw it up, and an Oscar winner can look like it went straight to DVD. Unfortunately, it feels like this new clip for the drama The Paperboy gets more wrong than right.
Lee Daniels’ (he previously directed Precious) latest effort centers on a young man (Zac Efron) who helps his reporter brother (Matthew McConaughey) investigate the wrongful conviction of a man (John Cusack) on death row. Unfortunately, during the process, Efron falls for the convicted man’s girlfriend (Nicole Kidman). We’re guessing things don’t end well.
The first trailer for the film (which played at this year’s Cannes Film Festival) never really manages to tell us what kind of movie The Paperboy is. We know it’s based on a true story, but the trailer has some odd tonal shifts -- including a musical number that feels like it belongs in a comedy or more light-hearted trailer and an ending that appears to be something altogether different and more serious.
Daniels manages to make everyone look sweaty and sort of trashy (and given that the reporter is from swelteringly hot South Florida, that makes sense) and critics have praised Kidman’s performance, so there may be hope for this one yet.
We’re crossing our fingers that this is more a case of a poorly cut trailer than a sample of The Paperboy’s overall quality, because it’s got a great cast and sounds like an interesting story. While Cannes reaction was mixed to positive, we’ll all be able to judge for ourselves when The Paperboy arrives in theaters on October 5.