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…
I don't wanna say much about this documentary because it's best you go in blind, but fuck me what a messed up story this is! It's one of the more intriguing documentaries I've seen in awhile and well worth seeing.
Absolutamente terrorífica. El modo en el que juega con el público es increíble. Se sabe desde el principio quién es el malo, que es el único de los entrevistados que mira a la cámara, rompe la cuarta pared, habla cara a cara con el espectador, pretendiendo empatizar con él, incluso cuenta su modus operandi a la hora de hacerse pasar por otra persona, todos los trucos. Es evidente que no es un buen tipo, que no hay que fiarse de él, hasta que suelta la bomba. Y ahí es cuando se cae en su trampa.
El debut de Bart Layton es un genial documental que podría hacerse pasar sin problemas por una película, debido al estilo tan cinematográfico con el…
A documentary that is equal parts fascinating and frustrating, The Imposter tells the complex story of Nicholas Barclay and the imposter who took his place. Barclay went missing when he was thirteen. Years later, a man with a French accent claiming to be Nicholas with a horrible back story of sexual abuse appeared in Spain. The Barclay family took him in, believing his story. You can probably imagine there are many twists and turns from here. There are, in fact, probably more than you would expect — certainly more than I expected. The Imposter is staggering in its storytelling and cinematic in its presentation, perfectly weaving together this unbelievable story. It reminded me of the equally engaging Capturing the Friedmans…
Don't read anything about it and just watch.
Man, this shit's crazy.
I'd like to see more documentaries use this recreation heavy, cinematic aesthetic.
I'm not really sure how to take this film. I was enthralled through most of it, needing to find out what happened next. What new piece of information would be brought to light.
However there's a sense of uneasiness. We feel like we know something the interviewees don't. We see behind the curtain as its happening so to speak. But at the same time things just didn't sit right. Something is off. Details don't add up.
This is a documentary as I've never seen before. A genre bending thriller with some stunning cinematography. It has a narrative to tell.
And I'm still pondering this film and it's themes long after the credits have rolled. Maybe that's what it sets out to do and it succeeds. Or maybe I just found too many unanswered questions for my liking.
a whale of a tale
This is such an insane story, it really is hard to believe it's true. It's all about the psychology of self-deception/self-delusion and then just when you think you've got it figured out, it takes you in a completely unexpected direction.
How can I be both impressed and disgusted?
In a mystery/thriller, the “why” is almost always so much more interesting than the “who.” Really smart decision here not to try to play the “Is he or isn’t he who he claims to be?” route. By acknowledging that Bourdin is fraud right from the start (from the title even), you get much more compelling questions for the audience: “How far will he go?” “How long can he get away with this?” “How are they going to catch him?” “Why doesn’t the family see what others are seeing?” If I’m making a thriller (or maybe anything?), seems like it would be worth the exercise in asking “What questions do I want the audience to ask?” Then design for that.
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…