The Imposter [FQ13 Review 31]


Sometimes people will believe what they want to believe, or pretend to believe something to throw you off track.

Why I Saw It: Quite a few people were saying that THE IMPOSTER was one of the best documentaries of 2012, many of them giving it a perfect score. I had to see what it was all about.

What Was It About?  “A call from Spain indicates that after having vanished three years ago, a missing boy has been found… but with evidence pointing to the contrary, why is the family so ready to believe it’s him?” The first few minutes of the film explain that the person claiming to be 16-year-old Nicholas Barclay is not, in-fact, the boy who went missing from Texas. The real story revolves around how he deceived so many people, and why the family appeared so ready to accept him into their home with all the evidence making it apparent he was lying.   

Rating: 6.1 out of 10

Memorable Performances: The things said and done by The Imposter were so sickening that it will take a while before I’ll forget his smirking face as he explained how and why he did the things he did.

Potential Nominations for Film Quest ’13:  

  • none

Favorite Parts: I wouldn’t say that any of it was enjoyable, though the reenactments, direction and cinematography was head-and-shoulders above every other documentary I can remember seeing, and significantly better than many regular films I’ve seen in the past year.

The Regrettable Aspects: The following things:

  • I despised the imposter himself, and his smirking nature so much that it made it impossible for me to watch this in one sitting (it took three).
  • the aspect of this documentary which was most intriguing, the idea that the family might’ve been involved in some criminal activity, wasn’t delved into enough (more about this in the spoiler section).

Would I watch it again? The only way I would watch this again would be if someone did a re-edit of the documentary (probably at which better highlighted the interesting aspects of the film.

To Whom Would I Recommend It?  Probably not to anyone.

Other Recommendations:

RANSOM – a fictional film about what a father is willing to do when his son disappears. Strong performance by Mel Gibson. Significantly more enjoyable than The Imposter.

– GONE BABY GONE – a great film about missing children, what entails a quality “parent”, and ethical lines. Also extremely more enjoyable than The Imposter.

As always, if you have any recommendations for alternatives to The Imposter, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

To get more of my thoughts on The Imposter, continue on to page 2 of this review!

Next up, BUTTER.

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