"We are trapped in our own situation...We are in darkness, and cannot see. We are ill, and cannot heal ourselves. We are injured, and need someone to bind our wounds. We are trapped, and cannot break free from our captivity. We are addicted to patterns of behavior that we cannot master. We need an illuminator, a healer, a liberator." - Alister McGrath, in Redemption
“The Paperboy takes audiences deep into the backwaters of steamy 1960s South Florida, as investigative reporter Ward Jansen (Matthew McConaughey) and his partner Yardley Acheman (David Oyelowo) chase a sensational, career-making story. With the help of Ward's younger brother Jack (Zac Efron) and sultry death-row groupie Charlotte Bless (Nicole Kidman), the pair tries to prove violent swamp-dweller Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack) was framed for the murder of a corrupt local sheriff. Based on the provocative bestselling novel by Pete Dexter (Mulholland Falls, Rush), The Paperboy peels back a sleepy small town's decades-old façade of Southern gentility to reveal a quagmire of evil as dark as a Florida bayou.”
John Cusack’s Hillary is what I imagine Edward Cullen would be in the real world. He is creepy, controlling, and frightening in his potential to destroy everyone he touches. He does not deceptively sparkle in the sun; he wallows in the slime and darkness of the geographical and moral swamps through which he wades.
- Jack is a post-adolescent nightmare: childish, egotistical, lazy, obsessive, and in desperate need of pants.
- Ward is a self-destructive homosexual masochist with a death wish that eventually comes true.
- Hillary is a degenerate human being (imagine if one of the Gator Boys had no conscience, a family borrowed from Deliverance, and a collection of very sharp knives).
- Charlotte is a tragically damaged man eater who uses sex as a tool to get her way (with Yardley), an act of begrudging pity (with Jack), and a method of trying to save a very bad boy who apparently just needs to get laid (Hillary). I cringed every time she was on the screen. In real life, we would weep for her instead of being entertained.