The Imposter

A gripping thriller straight out of real life

“In 1994, a 13-year-old boy named Nicholas Barclay was reported missing from his home in San Antonio, Texas. Three and a half years later, he turned up in Spain. Or did he? Who this person is and how he insinuated himself into the lives of unsuspecting strangers is the subject of The Imposter. Director Bart Layton takes a story that was already fascinatingly weird to begin with and makes it even more compelling by structuring it as shadowy film noir, offering information in expertly paced, precisely measured amounts. Layton doesn’t judge any of the people involved, but uses this extraordinary situation in which they all found themselves to explore the nature of truth.
“Happily serving as our tour guide from the very beginning, is the imposter himself: a French-Algerian man named Frederic Bourdin who thoroughly explains what he did. He is obviously untrustworthy but it’s easy to see how he could charm his way into anything.
“One look and it’s obvious he’s not Nicholas. Never mind the fact that he was also six years older than Nicholas, and that he spoke in heavily-accented English. Nicholas’ family were so happy to have their boy back, they were willing to accept anything. Whether they are truly that gullible, or they have something to hide themselves, it’s clear that they've difficult lives. Once Bourdin’s actions are clear, ‘The Imposter’ becomes a question of motive. And once you think you've got that figured out, Layton reveals more characters and more twists.
“Layton creates a fluid energy that’s spellbinding until the end.”
- Christy Lemire, Associated Press


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