Polarizing festival circuit conversation starter The Paperboy opens in limited release today, and will likely inject some welcome sass and sauciness into the upcoming Oscar race. Directed by Lee Daniels (Precious) and starring Nicole Kidman, Zac Efron, Matthew McConaughey and John Cusack, the horny, muggy Southern murder mystery and melodrama is bound to divide audiences as it did critics in Cannes and New York.
Its heady, almost psychedelic and always graphic spin on the secret sexual proclivities of nearly every inhabitant of a sweltering Florida backwater in the summer of ’69 should also make for a few awkward dates for couples not expecting to walk into a Kidman prestige film and witness her pissing on Zac Efron’s face.
Want to gauge how date appropriate The Paperboy is? Beware spoilers [repeat, SPOILERS] and consider the five raunchiest moments in a movie that’s rarely on its best behavior.
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Nicole Kidman Pees on Zac Efron
OK, this moment won’t come as a surprise to even casual film buffs. There’s good reason for the spontaneous golden shower on the beach: Efron’s character, Jack, has an allergic reaction to a jellyfish sting, and Charlotte Bless (Kidman), the older floozy Jack’s crushing on, insists that “if anyone’s going to pee on him, it’s going to be me” after rival bystanders mention the number one cure. The Paperboy’s most talked-about scene happens early in the film, and with oddly demure close-ups of Charlotte’s streams, is far from its most provocative.
Nicole Kidman Takes It Rough From John Cusack While Bent Over A Laundry Machine
The film’s scattershot plot revolves around Charlotte’s epistolary love affair with Hillary Van Wetter (Cusack), a death row inmate looking to be exonerated through the digging of the paperboys Kidman hires. Eventually, the profoundly damaged couple consummates the sordid deal in a small laundry room. Fittingly, the participants are mostly clothed. But the talk is dirty, the sex non-delicate. The only naughty bit on display is Cusack’s rear, but The Paperboy
, while sex-crazed, is surprisingly light on nudity.
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Macy Gray Simulates Masturbation
Gray plays Jack’s long-suffering maid Anita, The Paperboy’s Greek voiceover chorus and the character on which its racial commentary pivots. But in her introduction Anita barges into a semi-naked Jack’s bedroom to clean up his crap, then pantomimes the self-abuse she could have interrupted by laying on the floor and giving her nether regions a two-hand salute. The maid uniform stays on, so the moment is fairly innocent. Still, it’s worth pondering how the scene might have played out had Daniels’ gotten his first choice actress for the role—Oprah Winfrey.
Nicole Kidman Has “Telegraphic Sex” With John Cusack
Charlotte, along with paperboys Jack, Ward and Yardley, meets with Hillary in prison. Hillary asks Charlotte to spread her legs wide and rip open her panties. Charlotte obliges. They moan, quiver and contort their expressions into unmistakable O-faces while seated across the room from one another. Hillary stains his jumpsuit (there’s a close-up); Ward (McConaughey) realigns the crotch of his trousers. Male members of the audience don’t know whether to laugh, shake their heads or discretely follow Ward’s lead.
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Nicole Kidman Dances With Zac Efron
It’s a tender moment. But it’s rainy, and Efron, as in much of the film, is sporting tight white skivvies. In other words, we can see that nothing in The Paperboy stays tender for long.