By Katie Crocker
“I love him so much that I would ski naked down Mount Everest with a carnation up my nose if he asked me to.” -Joyce McKinney in “Tabloid”
After tackling politics and crime, Director Errol Morris undertakes the ridiculous and stickiest subject of all…love.
And he has a bit of fun with it in “Tabloid,” reviving the kinky fairy-tale of beauty queen Joyce McKinney who once made British headlines in the late 70’s with “Sex in Chains” and “Manacled Mormon.” Titles well deserved after the southern bell reportedly made her way to London to kidnap Kirk Anderson, the object of her desire and run away fiancé, from the clutches of the Church of Latter Day Saints, only to tuck him away in a cottage, tie him up and have her way with him for days.
It’s a juicy tale that doesn’t try to convince the audience about the truth of the matter. No, Morris revels in the absurdity and while Joyce McKinney claims chastity and virtue, the media paints quite a different picture of a love crazed zealot obsessed with her paramour and willing to go to any lengths to get him back. And while Morris throws in some journalists responsible for making McKinney headlines news and accounts on the practices of Church of the Latter Day Saints you quickly start to realize that what Joyce McKinney did isn’t as mesmerizing as Joyce McKinney herself. Interview after interview showcases the tabloid star as a fascinating subject who outlines and argues her own version of the truth. And she believes it. Or at least “if you hear it enough times you begin to believe it.” And down the rabbit hole you go, of a woman bent on her happily ever after.
And it works.
The flick suspends you in McKinney’s reality and it’s a fascinating ride, as she projects a porcelain image of herself while nude photos of her flash across the screen. You can tell Morris is just as captivated by it. And you will be too.