Rarely has a film/documentary left me more baffled or conflicted; vacillating between the revelations of Joyce McKinney, a femme fetal who supposedly stalked, kidnapped, manacled and raped her Mormon lover and the Tabloids who paint her as a nymphomaniac/nun.
Errol Morris (“Fog of War”) allows the aging victim to aggrandize , emote blatantly throughout this 88 minute saga of the perils of fame or infamy once the “Tabloids” have you in their destructive, toxic jaws.
Who does one believe? Did Joyce try to save or just savor Kirk Anderson, her Mormon lover; she followed him from Utah to London where the sensationalized kidnapping took place; she is arrested, flees to Canada, settles in California. The Fleet Street reporters have enough photographic evidence proclaiming the sale of her S&M skills. Joyce, cries, laments, bleats the illegitimacy of these articles and photos. Each side has moments of unquestionable veracity; but tainted with lingering bewilderment and uncertainty.
These events occurred in the 1970’s and Joyce is still sealed in a thriving time capsule; declaring her love for the lost Mormon; she could write a manifesto about the proselytizing diatribes of the religion and how it cripples a man’s potency. In many instances she reminded me of a benign Valerie Solanas ( she shot Andy Warhol, and authored S.C.U.M. “Society for Cutting Up Men”); almost maniacal in her obsession of her only love; she never married and sacrificed her intellect for an unrealistic dream, locked in romantic delusions, living with her five cloned pit bulls, all named “Booger”.
In conclusion, Morris allows her to capitalize, create a shrine to the supposed wrongs, wickedness of the tabloids; without them and the salacious, titillating photos, her moment in the sun would have never materialized, her fifteen minutes, reduced to seconds and instead of glorifying her questionable injustices, she might have lived a worthwhile, inconsequential existence and saved the viewing audience this puzzling, problematic, pathetic, meaningless tale of woe.
TWO & 1/2 STARS