Errol Morris’ latest documentary ‘Tabloid’ has a doozy of a lead subject in Joyce McKinney, a one-time blonde bombshell whose life is filled with the stuff of gossip fodder, including mormonism, kidnapping, sex slavery, and dog cloning.

Her story is obviously colorful and fascinating, but it’s a weaker film for not finding a larger story in which to frame her journey.

As he has often done, Morris embeds the film with lots of style, but it’s a style (along with his off camera line of questioning) that condescends its lead subject. If the filmmaker clearly thinks she’s a joke, and his direction leads the audience to believe she’s clearly a joke, then why are we watching a 90 minute movie about a woman who’s clearly a joke?

As a result, ‘Tabloid’ fails to present her story in any way that comes close to transcending the tabloids themselves.

 

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