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Director James Toback crosses racial, gender and class lines in the gracefully gritty Black and White

The only real crippler here may be redundancy. Toback has covered himself well by mixing up so many elements, and the director of The Pick-up Artist and Two Girls and a Guy (both Downey vehicles) has a keen sense of timing and wit. Also, rap and sex rarely fail to fill seats, but because this context is so well established, despite Toback's randy zeal for cross-pollination, those previously indoctrinated may need to stifle a few yawns. Perhaps Black and White may prove more intriguing to audiences overseas than here in the United States. Nonetheless, it smartly reveals the weaving of a new social fabric, a significant achievement in itself. So... um... sure as a Pole's the pope, this movie's rather dope, representing a new form of hip hope.

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