The Imposter

"Extraordinary"

The Imposter Review


Over the past couple of years British filmmakers have found all kinds of ways to breathe new life into the documentary format, from Clio Barnard merging life and art in The Arbor to Carol Morley's darkly disturbing Dreams of a Life. Now Bart Layton joins them with this mixture of documentary, mystery and thriller, which recounts an astonishing true story that gets more outrageous with each revelation.

At the centre is 23-year-old Bourdin, a French-Algerian who, when arrested by police in Spain, claimed to be Nick Barclay, a 16-year-old American who had been missing for three and a half years. Despite speaking with a French accent and having the wrong colour eyes, Nick's sister Carey confirmed his identity and took him home to live with Nick's mother Beverly in Texas, where he attended Nick's high school. Even a sceptical FBI agent (Fisher) believed his story of kidnapping, rape and torture, although a private detective (Parker) spotted something that wasn't quite right.

With lush, intimate camerawork, the filmmaker interviewed everyone involved, then interspersed their stories among dramatic re-creations of the scenes, which play out in an almost dreamlike style from the perspective of whoever is talking. So when we hear another point of view, we suddenly see some new detail that changes the story completely. At the centre is Bourdin's cheeky running commentary, which reflects his enjoyment of his own audacity as well as the terror when he realises that he's in way above his head.

Watching the mystery close in around him is absolutely riveting, especially as he senses that he might be in real danger. In many ways he's a fantasist along the lines of Leonardo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can or Jim Carrey in I Love You Phillip Morris. And the people around him are just as vividly unforgettable as movie characters. Especially Parker, a colourful Texan who should really have his own TV series.

Rich Cline



The Imposter

Facts and Figures

Run time: 99 mins

In Theaters: Friday 24th August 2012

Box Office USA: $0.9M

Distributed by: Indomina Films

Production compaines: A&E IndieFilms, 24 Seven Productions, Film4, Protagonist Pictures, RAW, Randy Murray Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Fresh: 103 Rotten: 5

IMDB: 7.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Bart Layton

Producer: Dimitri Doganis

Starring: Frédéric Bourdin as Himself, Adam O'Brian as Frédéric Bourdin, Anna Ruben as Carey Gibson, Cathy Dresbach as Nancy Fisher, Alan Teichman as Charlie Parker, Ivan Villanueva as Social Worker, Maria Jesus Hoyos as Judge

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.