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Middle-of-the-Road

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The title refers to Hollywood studios’ fear of Toback’s methods and madness, but the film also shows him to be the ultimate insider: a glad-hander of supermodels; a pal of superagents, superstars, and studio heads; and a Maileresque White Negro who hangs with rappers (and with Mailer, who gives Toback his seal of approval). Jarecki doesn’t get into Toback’s considerable inheritance, which does make maverickdom easier. And although we hear in general about Toback’s years of wildly compulsive behavior, specific anecdotes (I suspect there are doozies) would give The Outsider more of a filthy, Aristocrats-like charge. To cap it off, Toback’s friend Mike Tyson shows up and radiates niceness. The pair could star in a Pixar movie.

Cars
Directed by John Lasseter and Joe Ranft. Buena Cista. G.

Wordplay
Directed by Patrick Creadon. IFC Films. Not Rated.

The Outsider
Directed by Nicholas Jarecki. Green room Films. Not Rated.

E-mail: filmcritic@newyorkmag.com.


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