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Friday, July 25, 2008

THE HOAX (2006)

The story of how a struggling fiction author named Clifford Irving almost got away with his fabricated "as told to" Autobiography of Howard Hughes is so rife with dramatic & satiric possibilities that it's hard to work up much enthusiasm for Lasse Hallström’s reasonably effective film. A remarkably worn Richard Gere opts for a dynamic quality that misses the seductive mode Irving displayed at the time. He’s certainly no match for Alfred Molina as his respect-challenged researcher. Molina invests his part with more facets than a diamond, hitting notes of satire, panic, bullying & empathy to effect both hilarious & pathetic. Everyone else in the fine cast struggles to balance farcical notes with realistic ones and you can’t help but wish Preston Sturges were around, along with his stock company of comic character actors, to turn this all into a sort of literary GREAT MCGINTY.

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