- 1 hr 27 min
Tabloid is a 2010 documentary film directed by Errol Morris, which explores the strange and bizarre life of Joyce McKinney. McKinney became famous in the late 1970s when she was accused of kidnapping and raping a Mormon missionary in England. The story was picked up by the British tabloid press and became one of the most sensationalized stories of the decade.
The film begins with a brief introduction to McKinney's past and then launches into the story of the alleged kidnapping. Morris interviews McKinney, along with various journalists, photographers, and others involved in the case. Through these interviews, the audience learns that McKinney was a former beauty queen who fell in love with a Mormon missionary named Kirk Anderson while living in the United States.
According to McKinney, Anderson had promised to marry her and had even taken her to meet his family. However, Anderson was called to England for his missionary work, and he broke off the relationship with McKinney over the phone. McKinney was devastated by the news and decided to take matters into her own hands.
She flew to England and, with the help of two accomplices, kidnapped Anderson at knifepoint. They drove him to a cottage in Devon where he was handcuffed to a bed and allegedly raped by McKinney over the course of three days. The story was picked up by the tabloids, and McKinney became a media sensation overnight.
The film follows McKinney's bizarre journey from a small-town girl to a tabloid queen. Morris interviews McKinney and her accomplices, who seem to enjoy reliving the details of the kidnapping and rape, which they describe as a "love story." The case became even more bizarre when McKinney jumped bail and fled to the United States, only to be found years later living in a remote cabin in Utah, surrounded by replicas of Anderson's underwear.
Throughout the film, Morris provides a balanced viewpoint, showing both McKinney's side of the story and the perspective of those who believe she is guilty. Morris digs deep into the psychology of McKinney's behavior, exploring her past and trying to understand what drove her to commit such a heinous crime.
The film is also a commentary on the tabloid media and its impact on society. Morris shows how the tabloid press created a circus-like atmosphere around McKinney, turning her into a caricature and ignoring the fact that a man had been kidnapped and raped. The media became obsessed with McKinney's looks and her outrageous behavior, feeding a public that was hungry for scandal and sensationalism.
Tabloid is a fascinating documentary that delves into the dark side of human behavior and the power of the media. Morris's use of interviews, archival footage, and reenactments creates a compelling narrative that keeps the audience captivated from beginning to end. Although it's been a decade since its release, Tabloid continues to be a relevant and thought-provoking film that explores the complexities of the human psyche and the media's role in shaping our perceptions of the world.
Tabloid is a 2010 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 27 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.0 and a MetaScore of 74.