In 'The Hoax,' Richard Gere makes Clifford Irving believable

The Baltimore Sun

Unmoored charm used to be Richard Gere's calling card. Skating over the razor's edge between seductiveness and smarm was his specialty as a performer even before he really mastered it as an actor and rooted it in a character's needs and impulses. Now that he's become a formidable leading man, that knack is just one tool in his kit.

He's never shown truer colors or a wider spectrum than as that notorious faker Clifford Irving in The Hoax. And for Irving he forges a quality all his own: a serpentine virility. This swift, insightful black frolic tells how, in 1971, Irving, a novelist and nonfiction writer with delusions of literary grandeur, sold his publisher, McGraw-Hill, on the idea that Howard Hughes had authorized this man of letters to interview the mysterious, omnipotent tycoon and compile a Q&A; autobiography.

The Hoax (Miramax) Starring Richard Gere, Alfred Molina, Marcia Gay Harden, Hope Davis, Julie Delpy, Stanley Tucci, Eli Wallach. Directed by Lasse Hallstrom. Rated R. Time 116 minutes.

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