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IMPOSTORS, THE

SYNOPSIS:
Actors Arthur (Stanley Tucci) and Maurice (Oliver Platt) are always pretending to be who they are not. One such pretence ends up with them getting free tickets to Hamlet, starring the phenomenally successful and thoroughly nauseating thespian Jeremy Burtom (Alfred Molina). Wrongly accused of physically abusing the over-wrought and under-talented Burtom in an after-theatre bar, Arthur and Maurice find themselves pursued not by big-time directors but by the law. A narrow escape from the cops lands them in a packing crate aboard a cruise ship. But, this is no ordinary ship. On board is a plotting revolutionary, deposed royal, illicit lover, suicidal singer, wealthy sheik, gold-digging mother, grim-hearted daughter, sadistic suitor - and Jeremy Burtom. As Arthur and Maurice attempt to remain incognito -- with the help of irrepressible head stewardess Lily (Lili Taylor) -- they find themselves caught up in a loopy world of ingenues and intrigue. It seems the ship is about to blow up. If Arthur and Maurice can out-perform the many posers and pretenders on board they might just have a chance to save the ship . . . and their own belief that they can play and maybe even be, dramatic heroes.

"This is The Love Boat meets Fast Forward, but sometimes it does manage to be both original and funny, although much of it plays as silly. This is not the fault of the performers, who are all excellent, but of the likeable Tucci himself as the writer and director. Where Chaplin and other physical comics succeed is in quickly creating characters with whom we somehow empathise. There is a simple and singular connection with all those classic clowns, a connection that seems to come from the soul – or at least the heart. They endear themselves to us with a benign humanity Tucci’s central characters lack. This simply divorces the audience from them, making it very hard to care for their fate. But if you enjoy the larger than life antics of a Fast Forward routine, this will give you a lengthy laugh."
Andrew L. Urban

"There are some clever and intelligent ideas in Stanley Tucci's The Impostors, but sadly they don't sustain, nor satisfy. The mood is set during the credits, with a Chaplin-esque comedic style. The entire film is subsequently divided into segments, each prefaced by a title, or card, as were the silent movies. The strength of the piece lies in the performances of the superlative cast, which offer areal treat. I especially liked Woody Allen's cameo, while Billy Connolly is a sight in a role against type. But everyone is terrific, and Stanley Tucci and Oliver Platt have some magical moments in the leading roles. The script takes an off the wall premise and puts together over-the-top characters who are really a bunch of fruit cakes. There are visual gags, running gags and plenty of slapstick. It's colourful and larger than life, and there are moments when an innocent charm shines through. The big downfall is that you don't really care too much for the characters, so the emotional connection is quite limited, reduced to purely a visual level, making for rather superficial involvement."
Louise Keller

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 2

IMPOSTOR (2002)

IMPOSTORS, THE (M)
(USA)

CAST: Oliver Platt, Stanley Tucci, Teagle F. Bougere, Elizabeth Bracco, Steve Buscemi,Billy Connolly, Allan Corduner, Hope Davis, Dana Ivey, Allison Janney, Richard Jenkins, Matt McGrath, Alfred Molina, Isabella Rossellini, Campbell Scott, Tony Shalhoub, Lili Taylor, Lewis J. Stadlen, Woody Allen

DIRECTOR: Stanley Tucci

PRODUCER: Beth Alexander, Stanley Tucci

SCRIPT: Stanley Tucci

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ken Kelsch

EDITOR: Suzy Elmiger

MUSIC: Gary DeMichele

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Andrew Jackness

RUNNING TIME: 101 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Fox

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 31, 1998

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: July 14, 1999

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Fox Home Entertainment







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