Release Date: April 6th, 2007 by Miramax Films.
The Cast: Richard Gere, Alfred Molina, Hope Davis, Marcia Gay Harden, Stanley Tucci, Julie Delpy, Stanley Tucci, Eli Wallach.
Directed by Lasse Hallström.
BASIC PREMISE: In the early 1970’s, Clifford Irving (Gere), a writer, tries to sell a fabricated biography of Howard Hughes to a publishing firm. Based on a true story.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: The Hoax manages to be thrilling and intriguing with a very fine cast. Richard Gere, who never seems to age, gives an Oscar-worthy as Clifford Irving, a writer who concocts a bogus biography of Howard Hughes. His wife (Harden) helps him with all the loose ends, but his publisher (Davis) at McGraw Hill has no idea about this secret. Dick Susskind (Molina) accidentally ends up as his co-writer. They team up to dupe the publishers that they met Hughes and that he has authorized to hand over many pages of journal entries about his life. The only threat is Shelton Fisher (Tucci), the head of McGraw Hill who suspects them of lying. Alfred Molina provides for some very well-need comic relief, such as a scene when he describes how Hughes offered him a prune when he met him for the first time. Director Lasse Hallström does an impressive job of keeping the set and costume designs authentic give the time period and includes very well-chosen 70’s music. The screenplay by William Wheeler has enough drama mixed with character development which allows you to root for Clifford until the inevitably intense and thrilling end. Just like in Catch Me If You Can and Shattered Glass, it’s fun to watch a clever, charming character like Clifford manage to fool others into believing something false.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: None, other than the basic message that lies don’t have any legs, especially in the long run.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0
IN A NUTSHELL: Smart, intriguing and thrilling with an Oscar-worthy performance by Richard Gere. The most entertaining biopic since Catch Me If You Can and Shattered Glass.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater
The "H" Menu