That a woman plays the late German director Fassbinder is this film's trump card. For one thing, Mattes manages, miraculously, to look, talk and walk like the great man; for another, it lends the movie a psychosexual complexity that is highly suitable for dealing with Fassbinder's tortured bisexuality. Sexual power-games are the driving force behind both film and director as the Fassbinder figure's tormented jealousy and cruel whims play off friends, lovers, and actors against one another to disastrous effect. The movie's greatest strength is its manifest sincerity. You may not believe much of what happens here, but Fassbinder's life really was a chaotic can of worms, and this tells it like it was (though it is fiction, not documentary). No conventional biopic entertainment, it's a sad film about a sad man.