The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review-The Hoax

By Devin Rodgers/reporter

The Hoax is an amusing way to spend eight bucks and two hours at the movies, and on top of it all, it can keep a firm smile on the face from start to finish.

Director Lasse Hallström, best known for such films as The Cider House Rules and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, delivers a fun and breezy con game about the strange but true story of a struggling writer in the early seventies who was able to pass off a fake autobiography of Howard Hughes.

Richard Gere is full life in one of his strongest performances as Clifford Irving, a struggling author who tries to fabricate a relationship with the legendary aviator to write the first official biography about the eccentric, mysterious billionaire.

It could very well be the “story of the century,” and, of course, with a story this rare and exclusive, there’s opportunity to score the paycheck of a lifetime, worth one million dollars.

For this job, one writer isn’t enough, so Irving brings in the help of his friend and partner-in-crime Dick Susskind, played with a dead-on sense of sincerity by Alfred Molina.

Also, getting in on the scam is Irving’s wife, Edith, played by Oscar-winning actress Marcia Gay Harden.
Irving and Susskind go as far as they can to get their hands on juicy information by stealing files from the Library of Congress and the Pentagon.

They get so deep at one point that Irving suspects that the real Howard Hughes has sent him private information to use against Richard Nixon, causing his own paranoia and delusions to rapidly unfold.

The film is practically one long poker bluff as the duo spins one outrageous lie after another. It’s fun to watch Gere and Molina slither out of every tough corner their characters happen to find themselves backed into.

It’s not enough for Irving and his partner to constantly lie to everyone: the publishers and editors about how they got their information in the first place and even Irving’s wife about his affairs with his mistress (played by Julie Delpy).

It’s also about how long Irving can go on lying to himself.

It’s surprising to think Irving could have gotten away with as much as he did, and probably wouldn’t have in today’s society.

Even as Irving seems to somehow find control of any unexpected situation he gets himself into, the viewer slowly realizes he’s just a pawn in this crazy game.

Hallström easily and joyously blends both dramatic moral dilemmas and comedic farce into one zippy package.

If you enjoyed Catch Me If You Can, you’ll find The Hoax a pleasantly entertaining night at the movies.

Thankfully, it doesn’t insult the viewer’s intelligence. Unfortunately, it’s becoming harder and harder to find a good movie that doesn’t these days.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian