This week’s film review: The Imposter

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FILM

The Imposter

Cert. 15

4/5 stars

Thirteen-year-old Nicholas’ family were devastated when their blonde haired, blue-eyed boy went missing from his Texas home in 1993, so when the authorities call them out of the blue several years later to say they have found him in Spain, the family are understandably ecstatic, the only issue being, ‘Nicholas’ now has a French accent, brown hair and eyes and can’t seem to remember anything about his childhood.

Right up until the final credits role, revealing those last few killer bits of information, director, Bart Layton, presents a dead even fifty-fifty toss-up between whether the story is going to come down on the side of Nicholas’ family or Frédéric Bourdin, the man they now believe to be Nicholas.

You would never guess how the story ends from the first ten minutes, and it’s almost certainly not the film you would be expecting to see from the trailers and posters which focus on an unidentified male infiltrating an American public school.

This is a personal tale of one family’s stranger than fiction missing person’s case and, to be fair, you could have made a film like this about any similar tragedy but it’s doubtful it would’ve been as beautifully shot and edited, with surprisingly frequent humour seamlessly dropped in.

This is what makes The Imposter stand out as more than a documentary and deserving of its Sundance and Edinburgh Film Festival nominations.

Ashley Whittaker

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