Combustible Celluloid
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With: Richard Gere, Alfred Molina, Hope Davis, Marcia Gay Harden, Stanley Tucci, Julie Delpy, Eli Wallach, John Carter, Christopher Evan Welch, Zeljko Ivanek, David Aaron Baker, Peter McRobbie, John Bedford Lloyd, Okwui Okpokwasili, Stuart Margolin
Written by: William Wheeler, based on a book by Clifford Irving
Directed by: Lasse Hallström
MPAA Rating: R for language
Running Time: 115
Date: 10/15/2006

The Hoax (2007)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Make or Fake

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Lasse Hallstrom, the maudlin middlebrow director behind so many Miramax-bred prize-winners (The Cider House Rules, Chocolat, etc.), would seem the wrong man for a prickly movie about the great faker Clifford Irving, but somehow Irving's crafty evasiveness sparked something in him; it's his best movie in two decades. Richard Gere plays a shifty, cool-headed Irving, working on a fake autobiography of Howard Hughes in the early 1970s. He's so steeped in his own lies that he draws on elements from friends and dreams; Hallstrom shows everything, whether it's true or not. The exceptional cast also includes Marcia Gay Harden and Alfred Molina, and Julie Delpy plays Nina Van Pallandt, a Danish-born actress who appeared in Robert Altman films like The Long Goodbye. Orson Welles's masterful essay film F for Fake (1973) is a good supplement, further exploring Irving's association with art forger Elmyr de Hory. The Hoax

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