Keitel plays the lead in this schizophrenic movie in which he is continually pulled by the two conflicting sides of his personality, on the one hand that of a quiet piano virtuoso and on the other a ruthless debt collector for his mobster father.
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A movie that did have a huge reputation at the end of the 70's. James Toback was meant to become a new Scorsese then. He had the brain and knew how to create an atmosphere. Nearly 40 years later, his name rings a bell only among a handful of movie lovers. So take the time to see 'Fingers', the sad story of Jimmy, a 32 year-old aspiring concert pianist, who's a debt collector in his spare time. Highly recommended.
An impressive and very pungent psychosexual gansgter drama, Toback's audacious conception of setting the story on a subjective Eros-Thanatos realm rather than a genuine 70's suburban New York is what alienates many people from it, as they keep finding the milieu clashing violently against their self-imposed assumption that all american movies of this type have to be realistic. Keitel's pianist tics are equally unreal
A dour character study featuring what may very well be Harvey Keitel's best performance. Writer-director James Toback has had a spotty directing career over the years and has yet to fulfill the promise he displays here.
To paraphrase and apply what Robin Wood said about Marnie - if you prefer The Beat That My Heart Skipped to Fingers, you just plain don't like cinema. A testament to how miracles ultimately become pitfalls, Toback formed such a perfect ivory tower here to indulge all of his obsessions that he rendered himself only capable of creating films thereafter to suffer a steep decline into being uneven and uninteresting.