Documentary on the Friedmans, a seemingly typical, upper-middle-class Jewish family whose world is instantly transformed when the father and his youngest son are arrested and charged with shocking and horrible crimes.
Journalist David Farrier stumbles upon a mysterious tickling competition online. As he delves deeper he comes up against fierce resistance, but that doesn't stop him getting to the bottom of a story stranger than fiction.
High mountains visible in background in at least five scenes including sister's airport departure, Nicholas boarding school bus, kids hanging out in vacant lot. Supposedly set in San Antonio which is in the Texas 'Hill Country' but we see real mountains in the background. End credits reveal recreated scenes were shot in Arizona including Phoenix, Buckeye and Avondale where there are numerous mountain ranges often visible in any direction you look at varying distances. See more »
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.
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Solid, atmospheric, slightly stretched out telling of a surprising, twisty story
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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