Running Time: 99 minutes
Extras: Making The Imposter, Q&A with Bart Layton, Dimitri Doganis and Charlie Parker, hosted by Jon Ronson
THE IMPOSTER’s premise is so implausible it could only be true. Telling the story of Nicholas Barclay, a 13-year old boy who went missing in 1993, who is impersonated by Frédéric Bourdin surfacing four years after his disappearance, THE IMPOSTER is impossible to second guess, uncomfortable to watch, and the most compelling documentary of all time.
Director Bart Layton uses interview footage with Bourdin, Barclay’s sister, brother-in-law and mother as he takes us on the incredible journey from San Antonio, Texas USA, to Spain, and back again. Never shying away from the facts, or the facade, Layton doesn’t manipulate the viewer, he is unashamedly neutral towards impersonator Bourdin and Nicholas Barclay’s relieved and shell-shocked family. Important events are dramatically reconstructed using actors, making the story impossible to disbelieve in spite of its preposterous turns, enhanced by Andrew Hulme’s fantastic editing.
Meticulously researched THE IMPOSTER challenges every sane thought in your mind as you bow to the irresistible charms of Bourdin, a man you know you should hate but can’t help but warm to, and plead for closure for a family devastated by their missing Son/Brother. Layton, along with the producers, deserve great credit for their brave telling of an incredible story that could easily have sauntered down a mundane, predictable path.
2012 may have been the year blockbusters reigned, but THE IMPOSTER is the true must-see. Gloriously told, wonderfully under-played and compulsive – how many blockbusters can claim that?
Extras: The Q & A is absolutely top draw, in spite of host Jon Ronson’s attempts to turn it into a parody. Making THE IMPOSTER is fantastic and rounds off a small, but perfectly formed package.