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Auto Focus

One reason Paul Schrader's Calvinist obsessions have become tiresome—even when someone else is partially responsible for the writing, as is the case here—is that he seems more invested in their perpetuation and exploitation than in their exploration. Yet I have to concede that he's become an unusually skillful and sensitive director of actors, and the inventive performances—Greg Kinnear as Bob Crane (the wholesome star of Hogan's Heroes who became a sex addict) and Willem Dafoe as his seedy sidekick and fellow pornographer—keep this 2002 drama interesting in spite of its puritanical framework. Watchable, but not very insightful.

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