The Hoax

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner1/08/2007

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 115 mins

Impressively directed, sharply written drama with strong performances from Richard Gere and Alfred Molina.

What's it all about?
Set in the 1970s and based on a true story, The Hoax stars Richard Gere as author Clifford Irving, who convinces his editor (Hope Davis) and publisher (Stanley Tucci) that he's been granted the exclusive rights to the authorised biography of reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes. However, Irving's deception quickly spirals out of control and he ropes in both his Swedish-German wife (Marcia Gay Harden) and his best friend (Alfred Molina) to help him both research the book and perpetuate the lie.

The Good
Richard Gere is superb as Irving – you can tell that Gere knows that this is the best part he's had in ages, so he's bloody well going to make the most of it, imbuing Irving with a sort of scruffy, deceptively laid back charm that works well. There's also terrific support from a scene-stealing Alfred Molina, whose character, it turns out, is a really terrible liar.

The film also boasts great supporting turns from Hope Davis (who gets all the remaining funny lines after Molina has nicked the best ones) and from Stanley Tucci (brilliant as always), while Julie Delpy is on hand to sex things up a bit as Irving's mystery woman.

The Great
Director Lasse Hallstrom maintains a brisk pace throughout, aided by a terrific score by Carter Burwell. However, the film suffers a bit from Apollo 13 Syndrome, in that, after a certain point, you're just waiting for the inevitable because you already know how the story ends.

That said, the script crackles with superb dialogue and Irving is a fascinating character – the film is at pains to demonstrate that Irving was as talented as he was foolhardy, because he at least pulls off a creditable forgery.

Worth seeing?
In short, The Hoax is an enjoyable drama with a sharp script and strong performances from Gere and Molina. Recommended.

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Content updated: 23/07/2019 18:12

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