Imposter, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2

Biography/documentary by Bart Layton.

FILM SYNOPSIS: The Imposter is a documentary centered on a young Frenchman, Frédéric Bourdin (in his mid 20s), who convinces a grieving Texas family that he is their 16-year-old son who has been missing for 3 years.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Riveting, but bizarre, this true story, with reenactments, talking heads and just about the most unlikable cast of characters ever assembled for a bio/doc, fascinates as we question how these people could be taken in by this con artist. Way past gullible, the family are portrayed as a darker version of the Beverly Hillbillies. They live in a never-never trailer-park land existence and slowly reveal not only a lack of culture, but perhaps even a demented side. Did someone in the family actually kill the boy? So far, his body has never been found, and that is a question that remains until this day.

In 1994, 13-year-old Nicholas Barclay, a blue-eyed, fair-haired Texan with tattoos, disappeared and was considered a runaway by the authorities. It was the tattoos briefly mentioned that I found questionable. Bourdin had someone tattoo his hand exactly like the missing boy’s. But what 13-year old has tattoos? What’s that say about the family?

Bourdin, a manipulative schemer, is played by himself and in some reenactment sequences by a lookalike. I didn’t find him charismatic in any way, but rather disturbingly aloof, perhaps suggesting a psychopathic tendency. Interestingly, Bourdin has gone on to marriage and children of his own, but during his final appearance in the film, he admits to caring only about himself. His kids should be real proud once they see his true nature on a 40-foot screen. But then again, maybe they really will be proud. After all, they’ll see him on a 40-foot screen. He’ll be famous. Sometimes, that’s all it takes.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Picturehouse Entertainment

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: Six uses of the f-word and several other expletives.

Profanity: I caught one misuse of Jesus’ name.

Violence: It is suggested that the boy may have been murdered.

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Smoking by a couple of the characters.

Other: None

Running Time: 98 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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