AUTO FOCUS
2002, Sony Pictures Classics, 105 min, USA, Dir: Paul Schrader

Greg Kinnear gives one of his finest performances as Bob Crane, the affable star of television's "Hogan's Heroes," in director Paul Schrader’s subversive Hollywood biopic. A savagely funny, ultimately tragic portrait of a likable celebrity who hides a sex addiction and an exhibitionistic streak - a streak that manifests itself in Crane's unusual friendship with John Carpenter (Willem Dafoe), an electronics enthusiast who records the duo's sexual escapades. As the men's relationship turns darker, Schrader's film grows more compelling.


SALVATION BOULEVARD
2011, IFC Films, 95 min, USA, Dir: George Ratliff

From his mega-church pulpit, Pastor Dan Day (Pierce Brosnan) has captured the affection - and much of the real estate - of a small western American town. Among his loyal flock is recovering Deadhead Carl (Greg Kinnear), who is given cause to question Day’s spiritual leadership by an atheist professor (Ed Harris). Carl soon finds himself caught between his devout wife (Jennifer Connelly), a hippie-at-heart security guard (Marisa Tomei) and an entire congregation eager to ensure that their church isn’t toppled by scandal. This caustic comedy, based on Larry Beinhart’s novel, proves there’s no fury like an Evangelical scorned. Ratliff’s 2001 documentary on a “Hell House” staged annually by a Texas church provided ample preparation for the director, who’s filled SALVATION BOULEVARD with laughs and insight. With Isabelle Fuhrman and Jim Gaffigan.


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