Untitled | The Moviegoer

Friday, April 13, 2007

Untitled

Posted By on Fri, Apr 13, 2007 at 9:43 AM


And nothing else worth a damn.

A.O. Scott of The New York Times writes, "Mr. Hallstrom, now that he has moved on from the somber duties of spinning middlebrow best sellers into high-toned Oscar bait (“The Shipping News,” “The Cider House Rules”), has proven himself to be a nimble filmmaker with a light and subtle touch. His underrated “Casanova,” starring Heath Ledger, managed to be both farcical and subtle, and “The Hoax,” with an excellent script by William Wheeler, achieves a similar complexity of tone. It is for the most part a jumpy, suspenseful caper, full of narrow escapes, improbable reversals and complicated intrigue. But it has a sinister, shadowy undertow, an intimation of dread that lingers after Irving’s game is up."  Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times notes, "Now, in an act of true poetic justice, a smart new film called "The Hoax" goes Irving one better. Using his book as a starting point and taking advantage of Richard Gere's richest, most mature performance, it has taken off and run with the Hughes-Irving story. The result is an unexpectedly satisfying fantasia of reality and imagination, a meditation on the nature of lies and deception, on how we come to embrace not the truth but what it suits us to believe."  ""The Hoax” is a much smarter and more diverting picture than “The Aviator,” which, for all its pizzazz, did the one dull and hollow thing that you can do with Howard Hughes: it bought his story, straight. It was a McGraw-Hill kind of movie, with a fancy cover. Hallström’s effort, shot by Oliver Stapleton, is no less fun to ogle—check out the sofa covers, the textured wallpapers, and the resplendent pertness of Hope Davis in her kneecap-grazing dresses of 1971—but its writhing narrative, scripted by William Wheeler, pulls it away from Scorsese and closer to the tall, doubt-haunted stories of Jonathan Demme," writes Anthony Lane of The New YorkerKaren Martin of the Arkansas Dem-Gaz calls the film "witty and entertaining."  David Koon of the Arkansas Times observes, "Funny at times, frightening at others, “The Hoax” turns out to be a fine example of film, tracking both a thriller’s switchbacks and a tragedy’s heroic arc. Best of all is Gere’s careful depiction of Irving’s slow descent into the which-way-is-up world that all prodigious liars soon find themselves in."  

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