Thoughtful reviews, the Boulder film scene

" Hell does not always look like hell, on a good day it can look a lot like LA "
— Playing God, David Duchovny

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Local Hero

An all-time favorite I can watch again and again —Marty Mapes (review...)

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The Imposter, a totally involving documentary from director Bart Layton, is one of the few films that you won’t be able to out-guess, unless you already happen to know the story of Frederic Bourdin.

Re-enactments aside, The Imposter will have you shaking your head
Re-enactments aside, The Imposter will have you shaking your head

Bourdin insinuated himself with a Texas family by pretending to be Nicholas Barclay, a teen-ager who disappeared in 1994. More than three years later, Bourdin — in Spain at the time — pulled off what appears to be an impossible ruse. A 23-year-old man with a French accent, he claimed to be a 16-year-old American. To make matters more bizarre, Bourdin — interviewed extensively throughout the course of Layton’s film — looked nothing like Barclay. Barclay’s family accepted him anyway. But there’s much more to the story than that. Normally, I don’t like documentaries that rely heavily on re-enactments, as this one does. But Layton’s mixture of interviews, home videos and recreated drama works to create one of the most perplexing movies of the year — and I mean that in a good way.

We watch in a state of semi-amazement as Bourdin tells his story, and eventually falls under the suspicion of a private investigator. Gradually, the focus of The Imposter shifts into even weirder territory. It’s best to say no more — other than to tell you that Layton’s film probably will have you shaking your head in disbelief, quite an achievement for a documentary about a true story in which truth turns out to be the most difficult thing to find.