Toronto International Film Fest Review: Tabloid | Bleader

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Toronto International Film Fest Review: Tabloid

Posted By on 09.16.10 at 12:00 PM

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Errol Morris must have needed a break from life’s misery after taking on capital punishment (Mr. Death: The Rise and Fall of Fred A. Leuchter, Jr.), the U.S. debacle in Vietnam (The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons From the Life of Robert S. MacNamara), and the torture at Abu Ghraib (Standard Operating Procedure). He certainly gets it with this side-splitting documentary about Joyce McKinney, a former Miss Wyoming who was charged in 1977 with having kidnapped her Mormon boyfriend during his missionary training in England, manacled him to a bed, and forced him to have sex with her. He testified in court, according to Time magazine, that she chained him to the bed and forced him to have sex with her. The story became a tabloid sensation in the UK, revived briefly in 2008 when McKinney had her late, beloved dog Booger cloned by a South Korean scientist. No screenwriter could ever have gotten away with something like this, and McKinney, interviewed for the documentary, turns out to be a real character with a great sense of humor about her notoriety. Morris adds to the hilarity with his signature device of superimposing key words onscreen in giant type; the movie is a welcome reminder that he got his start immortalizing American oddballs in movies like Gates of Heaven (1978) and Vernon, Florida (1981). According to the Internet Movie Database, Tabloid has no U.S. distributor or commercial release date, though I spotted a Showtime logo in the end credits; wherever it winds up, this is one you don’t want to miss.

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