Farhadi. Strickland. Carax. Granik. Lonergan. Reichardt. Layton. Loktev. Dardennes. Kiarostami. Fedorchenko. Durkin. Byrkit. Schoeller. Barnard. Baumbach. Banksy. Berliner. Ferran. Glazer.…
There are two sides to every lie.
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 reportedly contains 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 reportedly contains 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…
So many questions, so few answers.
I'm not sleeping tonight.
Unbelievable true story about Frederic Bordin, the French-born "chameleon" who is notorious for having assumed an astonishing number of identities in his life, is made even more surreal through expert art direction and creepy re-enactments. Some of the twists are chilling and this story leaves a whole mess of provocative questions about the usefulness of first-hand testimony, the ineffectiveness of bureaucracies, and the potentially bizarre mechanics of grieving,
If you're suffering withdrawal from the end of "The Jinx" or "Serial," don't read any log lines or synopses of "The Imposter." Just watch it now.
A good watch, but the 2nd half truly trumps the 1st, as suspicions begins to arise, and not only regarding the imposter Nicholas.
I am legitimately sick to my stomach over this entire thing. I don't even have words. Watch it now.
Nicht schlecht. Allerdings verwirrend. Hätte ich gewusst, dass er ein Dokumentarfilm ist, hätte ich ihn vermutlich mehr genossen. So dachte ich die ganze Zeit, ich schaue einen arg geschwätzigen Thriller, der besonders clever sein will. Gegen Ende schwante es mir, dass er Mockumentary sein könnte. Tja, falsch gelegen: Ein Dokumentarfilm über und mit dem realen Serien-Hochstapler Frédéric Bourdin. Im Rückblick wird der Film immer besser.
Although I was initially hesitant to give The Imposter a five-star rating on the arbitrary star rating system (given my personal interpretation of a "five-star" film), I began to realize that, in all honesty, this film may be more deserving of it than not. It really is unlike any other that I've ever seen. And I say that without dramatic flair or exaggeration. Deadpan and looking straight into the camera, I can't think of another film like it and even those that might be remotely similar in style or theme are largely different enough to not warrant a comparison. It is wholly unique in its execution: the overlapping use of narrative, the way in which those being interviewed are framed,…
As a story, it's completely shocking and absolutely mind-blowing. As a film, it is perfectly executed and beautifully arranged with interviews, raw footage and reenactments that play out as well as any thriller you'll see.
very interesting story that was soooo slowly laid out on film. Would liked to maybe have seen it done as a full production without the documentary style commentary.
Suggest any, but please do not state the twist in the comments :)
It has to be a reveal, something…
What are the great directorial debuts?
To be clear, I am talking about feature debuts - they may have worked…