7.5/10
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The Imposter (2012)

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A documentary centered on a young man in Spain who claims to a grieving Texas family that he is their 16-year-old son who has been missing for 3 years.

Director:

Bart Layton
Reviews
Popularity
4,371 ( 1,585)
Won 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 11 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicholas Barclay Nicholas Barclay ... Himself - Missing Person (archive footage)
Carey Gibson Carey Gibson ... Herself - Nicholas' Sister
Bryan Gibson Bryan Gibson ... Himself - Nicholas' Brother-in-Law
Beverly Dollarhide Beverly Dollarhide ... Herself - Nicholas' Mother
Frédéric Bourdin Frédéric Bourdin ... Himself - Imposter (as Frederic Bourdin)
Nancy Fisher Nancy Fisher ... Herself - Special Agent, FBI (as Nancy B. Fisher)
Philip French Philip French ... Himself - Consul General, U. S. Embassy in Spain (as Phillip French)
Codey Gibson Codey Gibson ... Himself - Nicholas' Nephew
Charlie Parker Charlie Parker ... Himself - Private Investigator
Bruce Perry Bruce Perry ... Himself - Texas Children's Hospital (as Bruce D. Perry)
Allie Hostetler Allie Hostetler ... Herself - Nicholas' Neighbor (as Allie Hosteiler)
Kevin Hendricks Kevin Hendricks ... Himself - Nicholas' Childhood Friend
Adam O'Brian ... Frédéric Bourdin
Anna Ruben ... Carey Gibson
Cathy Dresbach Cathy Dresbach ... Nancy Fisher
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Storyline

A documentary centered on a young man in Spain who claims to a grieving Texas family that he is their 16-year-old son who has been missing for 3 years.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

There are two sides to every lie. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Avalon [Spain] | Official Facebook

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

24 August 2012 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Az Imposztor See more »

Filming Locations:

Phoenix, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,379, 15 July 2012, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$892,409, 23 November 2012
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

At the beginning of the film, Frédéric Bourdin's hair line is very defined and has dark hair. But by the end of the film he has a noticeable receding hairline. However, the film portrays his talking scenes as one long interview as his shirt never changes. See more »

Quotes

Frédéric Bourdin - Imposter: Before I was born, I definitely had the wrong identity. I already didn't know - I was already prepared not to know who I really was. A new identity with a real passport, an American passport... I could go to the U.S., go to school there, live with that family, and just being someone and don't have never again to worry about being identified. I saw the opportunity.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in 73 Questions: 73 Questions with Daniel Radcliffe (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Wayfaring Stranger
Written by David Eugene Edwards & Jean Yves Tola (as Edwards/Tola)
Performed by Sixteen Horsepower (as 16 Horsepower)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Solid, atmospheric, slightly stretched out telling of a surprising, twisty story
27 January 2014 | by secondtakeSee all my reviews

The Imposter (2012)

A creatively made documentary about a French man who was able to take on the identity of someone else against all the odds. This isn't a wild tale like the man who was doctor and airplane pilot and so on, but rather just a young man posing as a kid so he could get into a children's home and be taken care of.

Or that was step one. When he was about to be discovered he then pulls one charade after another and ends up in Texas. The gullibility of the family who takes him in is part of the talking head zaniness of it all.

Or so that's step two. Or four. The movie takes a whole series of twists because of how the story is told to us. (There is a little feeling of being manipulated and tricked which doesn't feel quite fair, actually, but this does keep you interested.) By the end you know exactly what happened (with one major detail up in the air) and there is a satisfying, wow, what a tale feeling.

The filming is really elegant, with really brilliant editing. I think it could have been more compact, and more impactful, but it never really slows down. The cast of characters gradually grows as the investigation into the facts changes, too, which is interesting, leading to the best character of all (beyond the French leading man), an old gumshoe driving his Cadillac and getting to the bottom of at least some of the facts the old fashioned way.

You might critique this kind of story by simply saying it would make an amazing amazing segment on 60 Minutes. But that would be 20 fabulous minutes. Instead it's stretched and stretched into five times that (five!) and all the extra details and atmospheric filler makes it very long. Boring? No, not really, but when you're done you'll know it could have been more by being less.


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