Watch: The Imposter 2012 123movies, Full Movie Online – In 1994, a thirteen year old boy disappeared from San Antonio, Texas. Three and a half years later, he is found alive and well thousands of miles away in Europe. He tells a story of kidnap and torture when he returns. While his family is excited to bring him home, all is not as it seem..
Plot: In 1994 a 13-year-old boy disappeared without a trace from his home in San Antonio, Texas. Three-and-a-half years later he is found alive thousands of miles away in a village in southern Spain with a horrifying story of kidnap and torture. His family is overjoyed to bring him home. But all is not quite as it seems.
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A stupefying, ‘wtf?’ movie, which puts fictional thrillers to shame
Considered a dead-cert win at the Academy Awards next year, Bart Layton’s documentary The Imposter has rapidly generated a great deal of notoriety and acclaim. The quintessential ‘stranger than fiction’ tale, it’s sensational blend of archive footage, delicate reconstructions and heartrending talking head interviews illustrate that, not only is Layton a masterful, investigative reporter, but moreover a profoundly impressive storyteller.
Back in 1994, the blue-collar Barclay family from San Antonio, Texas, was left distraught after the disappearance of their 13-year-old son, Nicholas. Like any teenage boy, Nicholas was a cocksure kid, filled with energy, love for his family, and certainly wouldn’t runaway from home for no good reason. Weeks turned into months, and eventually the case was abandoned by the police and press. Three years later, the local Texas police department receives an international call from Spain. On the receiving end is a character claiming to be Nicholas. Putting in a bogus story about how he escaped the clutches of a drug fuelled, pedophilic organization, the police think his story check out, and soon enough Nicholas’ sister Carey jets over to Europe to meet her long lost brother. In front of police officials, she takes a good look and identifies him as the legitimate lost brother. Three years ago, Nicholas was a blue-eyed, spunky American teenager, now he’s transformed into a dark haired, brown-eyed man with stubble and an irreplaceable French accent.
The Imposter, like it’s central subject, is not the documentary you expect it to be. With many twists, contortions and moral judgements, your pretty much open-mouth and on the edge of your seat throughout the film’s entirety. That’s partly down to Layton’s craft, particularly the Errol Morris-like interviewing technique – which sees people gaze directly into the lens of the camera and, vicariously, straight at us. But, even more astounding, is the capricious performer that names the film. Frédéric Bourdin, a then 23-year-old man of French-Algerian descent, is actively impersonating Nicholas the whole time, convincing not only the state officials, but the abandoned boy’s own mother. With a shrouded history as a homeless orphan thrown into the life of deception and petty crime, he longed to fit in and have a family of his own. When that opportunity didn’t surface, he decided to steal Nicholas’s own.
“How could he get away with it?” I hear you cry. That’s something I’ll leave for you to answer when you see this documentary. Suffice to say, Bourdin is an intimidatingly convincing, intelligent and charismatic figure. To the point where we sit back and reflect whether we could have been swung by his quick wit. Even if Bourdin is the great pretender, a new revelation in the film’s final act suggests that the Barclay family are perhaps keeping up appearances of their own.
It may not be my favourite documentary of the year (The Act of Killing, if you were wondering), but The Imposter is the best psychological thriller I’ve seen in recent memory. It transcends the documentary stratum. A dauntingly universal account of a missing child and false identity, it’s stupefying moments will leave you silenced whilst the movie plays out. But, as soon as the credits roll, you’ll be talking about this exceptional movie for years to come.
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I read about this documentary film, it certainly sounded like an interesting story, it was rated well, and did well during the time of the awards ceremonies, so I hoped it would be worthwhile. Basically, it tells an extraordinary true story of deception and self-deception. In 1994, 13-year-old boy Nicholas Barclay went missing near his home in San Antonio, Texas. Three years later, a young man claiming he is the missing teenager has been found in Spain. Nicholas had blond hair and blue eyes, but the young man who is reunited with the family spoke with a French accent and had darker skin and brown eyes. Despite the obvious differences he was accepted by the authorities and the boy’s family, well, most of them anyway. A few months, the behaviour and appearance of “Nicholas” came under the suspicion of the authorities, and a private investigator started to dig deeper to find the truth. “Nicholas” made appearances on television, being interviewed about his disappearance, claiming he was kidnapped and held in Spain for sexual slavery. The private investigator concluded the young man was not Nicholas, in particular noticing the shape of his ears being different to those seen in the last photograph of Nicholas. Eventually, after some time, the Nicholas found was finally identified. He was in fact Frédéric Bourdin, a 23-year-old French-Algerian with a history of inventing new identities for himself. The film shows that, despite his obvious differences in appearance, he has impersonated dozens, if not hundreds, of children that have gone missing, for whatever reason, and he did so in various locations. In the end, Bourdin was found guilty of confidence trickery, and deported back to France, where he did eventually make a better life for himself. With contributions from Frédéric Bourdin himself; Nicholas’s family: Beverly Dollarhide (mother), Carey Gibson (sister), Bryan Gibson (brother-in-law), Codey Gibson (nephew); neighbour Allie Hostetler and childhood friend Kevin Hendricks, and the people in authority who got to the truth – private investigator Charlie Parker and FBI Special Agent Nancy B. Fisher. Also starring, in the reconstructions of key moments, Adam O’Brian as Frédéric Bourdin, Anna Ruben as Carey Gibson, and Cathy Dresbach as Nancy Fisher. Bourdin is an interesting character and is very forward about his explanations of how and why he did what he did, but he cannot escape the fact that he took advantage of a grieving family. Many questions are raised in the film, but not all of them are answered (it never properly detailed how long he got away with it), and I questioned the way it was edited, but you can just about follow what is an interesting story, a worthwhile documentary. It won the BAFTA for Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for Bart Layton and Dimitri Doganis, and it was nominated for Best Documentary Film. Good!
Original Language en
Runtime 1 hr 39 min (99 min)
Genre Documentary, Biography, Crime
Director Bart Layton
Actors Adam O’Brian, Nicholas Barclay, Carey Gibson
Country United Kingdom, United States
Awards Won 1 BAFTA Award13 wins & 34 nominations total
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix Dolby Digital
Aspect Ratio 2.35 : 1
Laboratory Company 3, London, UK (digital intermediate) (as Company 3 London)
Film Length N/A
Negative Format N/A
Cinematographic Process N/A
Printed Film Format N/A