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Swamp trash melodrama unfolds with stylish 1960s grittiness in “The Paperboy” and demonstrates Nicole Kidman’s ability to fashion herself into an angel fallen to Earth in the guise of a hooker. She plays Charlotte Bless, a peroxide blonde who makes no bones about having just one interest in life: men. With shocking pink lipstick offsetting her tight minidresses, she’s always breathless and desperate for sex with just about anyone.

Charlotte is of a type you don’t come across all that often in recent cinema, but actually is a much-loved 20th-century staple. From Raymond Chandler to Elmore Leonard to Robert B. Parker, detective novelists have plopped Charlotte equivalents in the middle of crime scenes and murderous intrigues to set off chain-link fireworks of sex and violence.

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