Fact Finding

Published June 7, 2011

 

Before he became known for his deeply serious documentaries on murder and modern warfare, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Errol Morris was the king of the comically strange. His latest feature, Tabloid (Sundance Selects, July 15), marks a return to his turkey hunter-trailing, pet cemetery-examining, kooky swamp town-inspecting origins. The film tells the story of onetime Wyoming beauty queen and now 60-year-old spinster Joyce McKinney as she attempts to set the record straight on her salacious, gossip-filled past. She speaks with loopy self-assurance as she denies allegations of kidnapping and “indecent assault” of a Mormon missionary, struggling to pitch herself in front of Morris’s camera as chaste, loving-wife material. Meanwhile, the
director interviews a few other witnesses who remember McKinney quite differently: as a
dog lover, an aspiring memoirist, and a virginal Southern pin-up-turned-accused defiler.