List (in chronological order) put together by Edgar Wright & Sam DiSalle - July 2016
NOTE: The original publishing…
It’s 1994: a 13-year-old boy disappears from his home in San Antonio, Texas. Three and a half years later, he is found alive, thousands of miles away, in Spain. Disoriented and quivering with fear, he divulges his shocking story of kidnap and torture. His family is overjoyed to bring him home. But all is not what it seems. Sure, he has the same tattoos, but he looks decidedly different, and he now speaks with a strange accent. Why doesn't the family seem to notice these glaring inconsistencies? It's only when an investigator starts asking questions that this astounding true story takes an even stranger turn.
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Some very smart people are missing the boat on this one, which surprises me because Layton's magnificent final shot couldn't be more pointed. There is no ambiguity, no mystery, no unanswered question (apart from what happened to the real Nicholas Barclay, which is no doubt a sad but thoroughly commonplace story that we'll never hear). And while there's a twist at the end, it's not the one cited in most of the reviews I've read. The Imposter is many things—an incredible true story, a queasy black comedy, a formally audacious doc/fiction hybrid, an uninflected portrait of a sociopath—but first and foremost, it's a creative essay about confirmation bias, an "affliction" that, as we see here, spares nobody. Whether through…
What a piece of work is man!
Our species never ceases to amaze me. The fact that this increasingly bizarre story is real is something that still makes me dizzy from all the implications it bears with it.
This documentary is a masterful feat of storytelling and characterization without bias. It mixes the real with dramatization beautifully, thus slowly laying bare a story that is unbelievable, infuriating and captivating. It has the guts to place the titular imposter center stage, relying on the strength of his story. He is a bizarre character and the more I got to know about him, the more I felt myself being drawn into his story, wondering whether…
Having already seen the disappointing fictional film, The Chameleon, which also dealt with the same story I think it may have slightly impacted my enjoyment of this documentary as I was familiar with the many twists in this remarkable and often unbelievable story. However, that doesn’t change the fact that this documentary from debut feature director, Bart Layton, is an incredibly accomplished film that brilliantly weaves a story that raises far more troubling questions than answers.
It is best to go in knowing as little as possible about the events of the film which means I will avoid talking about specifics in my review and try and be as general as possible. However, if you still haven’t seen it just…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
This was a very, very well-made, visually appealing documentary. While there were scenes of "re-enactments" they were beautifully done. The camera work in The Imposter was close to genius. There is a scene towards the end, when the private investigator is standing next to the hole being dug in the backyard, where the camera zooms in on an aerial view, that will stay with me for a long time.
It is not just Frédéric Bourdin, the Frenchman posing as a Texas boy who went missing almost 4 years prior who makes me sick, surprisingly enough. Former FBI special agent Nancy Fisher terrifies me, in the fact that someone so incompetent was in charge of helping the public. The fact that…
We've found a kid... about 14... 15 years old...
After working in television since 2004, mostly in the documentary genre, Bart Layton makes a brilliant feature film directorial debut with this stranger then fiction documentary. It helps that the story itself is so unbelievable, but a lot of credit needs to go to Layton for how he unfolds the story to his viewers. The film could easily be called a thriller as it contains more suspense then most big Hollywood films of that genre.
The film involves the disappearance of a 13 year old Texas boy in 1994 and the events that unfold when he is reported found over 3 years later in Spain. That should be enough of…
The Imposter is a terrifying film. I use the word 'film' rather than 'documentary' because it surpasses the limited scope of conventional documentary filmmaking. At every turn it shirks the traditional trappings of its genre and reaches for something new. To say that it uses recreations to illustrate the turns and twists of its narrative would be equally unjust. 'Recreations' in the traditional sense are scenes of actors delivering round-about dialogue that usually undermine the authenticity of their subject. The Imposter doesn't give us recreations but impressions; images convey the events without contaminating them with artifice. Instead of narrowing our relationship with the truth, The Imposter uses a visual palette to expand it. The story becomes alive and accessible in…
that poor family deserves better than that.
Last time that i saw a film that got me fell dirty was snowtown this one is on same level of disturbing.
One of the best documentary that i have witnessed.
An extraordinary story told in an extraordinarily well-crafted documentary. Usually when a documentary is this cinematic, it loses some of its authenticity but this is a smart film that refuses to give us easy answers and instead leaves us wondering how and why the fuck any of this could happen. It's Catch Me If You Can by way of Gone Girl, and it's absolutely thrilling from beginning to end. It's a film that doesn't take sides, it just watches a story unfold in the most bizarre and unimaginable way.
Had to make up for showing welcome to leith to someone who's new to documentaries, this ones fantastic and fun and easy to watch
I had forgotten how amazing this was. Totally bonkers true story is one thing, sociopath trying to be all things to all people as a fable about confirmation bias is another, but this time I just kept marvelling at how beautifully shot and edited it is. It's like Bart Layton gets to have his cake and eat it too, playing this as a fictional psychological thriller and a true crime doc simultaneously.
Has there been another documentary of it's sort (the interview-driven story of events that have already concluded) since that's been so confidently directed, with such gorgeous photography and editing? A
Not too shabby an idea.
Nah, they could had done better.
The twists were predictable, and if you think about it, it would be better if it had been 10 minutes short.
At first I thought that revealing the Imposter so early on kind of ruined the potential for the film - it could have been suspenseful and made of tension. However, the light, almost humorous tone added something special to the film and worked well with the unfolding ridiculous scenario. I think the filmmakers were probably hoping to discover more about the death during the actual filming, but 'the twist' (if that's what you would call it) still worked and I was left with an unsettled feeling at the end. The one thing I didn't like was the re-enactments - it felt very midnight television-esque, and I wish they had included more real life sources (although potentially they were not provided…
Simply amazing. Please don't read anything else about the film, it'll just spoil your experience. Go watch it now!
I knew there was some kind of twist coming... but I wasn't expecting THAT. Just that feeling you get when you finally know what's coming, like your eyes widen a la Requiem For a Dream. Completely changed to me what the movie was about, and became more about the human experience as a whole, and to wonder: What the fuck are we doing to others, to ourselves?
Edgar Wright's 1000 Favorite Movies via MUBI.