No other filmmaker besides James Toback has such a perverted, cynical view of humankind. Even if his films are sometimes not entirely successful, they represent a fascinatingly skewed, sadistic vision of pleasure, money and power, usually at the expense of a moral center.
His best films eventually overcome this factor, finding a spot of human essence among the corruption, specifically "Fingers" and "Two Girls and a Guy." But even his completely bankrupt films like "Black and White," "Harvard Man" and the new "When Will I Be Loved" have a dark allure to them. At least we know that the artist is staying true to himself rather than making another slick widget for the studios to sell.
The real reason "When Will I Be Loved" works so well is the brilliant casting of Neve Campbell, who seems to have traveled on an opposite arc from Reese Witherspoon. Witherspoon started in small, crafty independent movies which allowed her to stretch and test her own limits, then graduated to big, expensive, brain-dead films in which she does very little.
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