Tabloid (2010)


A documentary on a former Miss Wyoming who is charged with abducting and imprisoning a young Mormon Missionary.

This was not a great documentary, but that won’t detract from your enjoyment of the story. A story that seems unfathomable as fiction but, as they say, the truth is stranger.

A beauty queen meets the “love of her life” – then loses him. Rather than accept that life goes on, she decides to track him down, kidnap him, and ‘deprogram’ him with sex. I have actually heard people refer to Mormonism as a cult, but I have never heard that particular cure mentioned.

Sex Slave HeadlineThe details of the story would be enough for an entertaining biography. Errol Morris ups the ante by having the beauty queen and her “co-conspirators” discuss those details for the camera. Throw in the salacious photos and tabloid headlines of the time and you almost feel for the girl in her quest for everlasting love. At the very least, you have to admire her moxie.

The main failing of the movie is how the victim gets lost in the hoopla. I can understand his reluctance to participate, but I wish we could have been encouraged to feel for what he went through. I wish we could know what ‘rebuilding’ his life looked like – though I suppose that would have just violated him further.

Though the events Tabloid recounts took place in the pre-digital age, the film also functions as a kind of prehistory of modern celebrity culture and tabloid journalism. ~ Dana Stevens, Slate

Despite the decidedly sexual nature of the story, I think it is a film most in my circle could enjoy. 3.5 on the Word of Mouth Scale.

Rotten Tomatoes: Critics 91%; Audience 74%