Rated 4.0

The eclectic documentary portraitist Errol Morris is in fine form with this timely, zippy primer on British tabloid culture and human nature. Ever cheeky but never condescending, Morris trains his famously direct camera eye on Joyce McKinney, the North Carolina beauty queen whose elaborate transatlantic abduction of her Mormon missionary boyfriend made for many a scandal-sheet headline in the 1970s. “It’s not a porno story like these crazy newspapers have tried to make it,” McKinney says early on. “It’s a love story.” And so it is, albeit a peculiar and dazzlingly lurid one. Later, she has cause to add: “I don’t see any connection at all between cloned puppies and a 32-year-old sex-in-chains story.” Morris does, bless him, and he seasons McKinney’s barefaced yet enigmatic divulgence with supplemental testimony from a few key supporting players, plus his own helpful off-camera questions, like, “Does he still have the erection while he’s chanting?” These things do matter.