The Imposter

The Imposter (2012)


A 13-year-old boy disappears. Three years later a 23-year-old (Frédéric Bourdin) assumes his identity, despite looking nothing like him (and having a French accent!), and the boy’s family seems to buy the ruse.

The director does a good job of manipulating the audience, skillfully weaving in re-enactments, and the people involved are undeniably intriguing.

However, this feels as though the filmmakers came upon a great story, but realized it wouldn’t take long to tell, so they padded it out to feature length. The movie spins its wheels for the first half, diluting its narrative by dealing with unnecessary minutia. It’s important for the audience to spend some time with the subjects in order to have a better understanding of their unusual behaviour, but quite a bit could have been cut out of the film.

Near the end, the movie raises the possibility that the missing boy was killed by his family. This is an especially unseemly accusation coming from Bourdin, a sociopath – and habitual liar – who was welcomed by said family and who took advantage of their grief. An FBI agent and a local investigator have similar suspicions. The main reason for this conjecture is that they see it as the only reason the family would accept Bourdin as their son. This is, to put it mildly, a weak basis for such allegations, especially after the film has built such a strong case that the reason they believed he was their son was because they very badly wanted to believe it. Considering this thread ends up leading nowhere, why does the movie grant it so much weight? The most likely answer is that the filmmakers were motivated by a desire to artificially inject some sensationalism into the proceedings, reality show-style, and to appropriate the ambiguity of other, far superior documentaries such as Capturing the Friedmans. While it was important to include this aspect of the case, the way it’s presented takes away from the central subject of the film, which remains a fascinating case of confirmation bias.


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Drive (2011)

80DriveA professional driver who uses his skills both for movie stunts and as a getaway driver falls in love with his neighbour and subsequently becomes entangled with some dangerous characters. Atmospheric, very stylish thriller is as minimalist, cool, and calculated as its protagonist’s demeanor.

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Chronicle (2012)

79Chronicle-Michael-B-Jordan-Dane-DeHaan-Alex-RussellThree high school seniors gain superpowers after being exposed to a strange object from space. The script is heavy-handed and the plot somewhat predictible, but the premise is a compelling one, and the movie is well-made and entertaining from start to finish. The characters’ powers allow the filmmakers to add some style to the usual found-footage visuals.

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Melancholia (2011)

84Melancholiaan accurate visualization of depression

A woman’s depression threatens to ruin her wedding reception. A planet is on a collision course with Earth. Writer-director Lars von Trier uses the second of these two apparently unconnected plotlines to illuminate the first, sketching a vivid, insightful, at times wrenching portrait of the titular ailment along the way. He is abetted by the actors’ heartfelt performances. The whole movie is beautiful to look at, especially the stunning opening montage of painterly super-slow motion images.

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The Apple

The Apple (1980)

beyond measurementThe AppleA devilish impressario tries to tempt a singing duo in the far future of 1994. The plot is boilerplate but it nonetheless carries you through this insane, imaginative parade of camp. The elaborate musical numbers and outlandish costumes and decor will keep you entertained right up to the loony ending.

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L’avventura (1960)

72l_avventuraA woman mysteriously disappears, and her friend and her boyfriend have an affair while looking for her. Intriguing at first, but starts to drag about halfway through as the narrative meanders. The images are artfully composed.

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coin nirvana

Cash in your coins here. And have an orgasm, in coins

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