A stockbroker’s son, James Toback holds degrees from both Harvard and Columbia. While an English instructor at CCNY, Toback began submitting articles to various publications, with special emphasis on sports magazines. Assigned to interview football star-turned-actor Jim Brown, Toback became close friends with his subject, spending several years as Brown’s houseguest. Their relationship was crystallized into Toback’s 1971 book Jim: The Author’s Self-Centered Memoir of the Great Jim Brown. This work brought Toback to the attention of Hollywood producers, culminating in his first screenplay credit for 1974’s The Gambler. In 1977, Toback turned director with Fingers, a succes d’estime starring-who else?—Jim Brown. Critical opinion was sharply divided over Toback’s directorial bow: Pauline Kael was underwhelmed by the film, citing “self-promotion” as Toback’s biggest talent, while David Thomson was so bowled over by Fingers that he wrote a essay-length… read more
An absurd, bathetic mess of a movie. It’s actually sort of compelling in its awfulness. After the film ended I had to listen to the director’s commentary track just to make sure the film wasn’t some sort of big joke; like maybe the film was just made to troll the audience? Nope. The director is totally serious about this shit. Looks like Ed Wood has a new rival.
Just say no to color grading. If you can not cast Joey Lauren Adams, that's also a plus. Toback further explores experiential, pharmacological, and physical capacity but drowns yet again in superficiality. Excision-happy editing rescues some but not nearly all of the bad acting.