The Hoax: ✩✩✩ & ½✩ ( out of ✩✩✩✩✩ )
Director Lasse Hallstrom‘s look at Clifford Irving is both humorous and enlightening. If you’ve never heard of Irving (Richard Gere), a writer who hoodwinked the world by producing a 100% fake, and yet totally believable, autobiography of Howard Hughes in one of the biggest “hoaxes” ever, then you are in for a real treat. Gere is perfect in the role of the con man who believes he’s noble and even begins to think of himself as a friend to Hughes, and Alfred Molina provides a fine supporting performance as Irving’s only real friend and co-conspirator. Add to that some good performances by Hope Davis, Marcia Gay Harden, Julie Delphy, Stanley Tucci and Eli Wallach, and some clever in-jokes about writing, the publishing business, and Watergate, and you’ve got quite a little film. Although it drags at times, and gets a little crazy towards the end, it’s an engaging and smart film that many should enjoy.
The Hoax (3 & ½ Stars out of Five) is Rated R for language with a running time of 115 minutes. It opens in limited release in select cities today with a wide release next Friday.