Sundance Review: "The Imposter"
Published: January 27, 2012 12:04PM
Updated: January 27, 2012 12:04PM
Sundance Review: "The Imposter"
World Cinema Documentary Competition
Three and one-half stars

Bizarre, just bizarre. But always compelling is Bart Layton's "The Imposter," a true story about a 23-year-old Frenchman who impersonates a missing San Antonio teenager three years after the teen disappeared without a trace walking home from a neighborhood basketball game. The Frenchman manages to fool the teen's family for nearly five months, despite an accent and looking almost nothing like the missing teen. That is not the end of the story, though, as Layton crafts a thriller with twists that you don't see coming. The film's antagonistic star is the Frenchman, who is one of the most intriguing and baffling characters I've seen in a long time. The way he toys with not only the grief-stricken family's emotions but also the audience's is repulsive but so entrancing that you see why the family was fooled. There is a deeper story at play here, about the lies that we tell ourselves to find the truth.

— David Burger