The Hoax review

The book of the century: that’s what Clifford Irving promises publishers McGraw-Hill in 1971. Billionaire recluse Howard Hughes is ready to set the record straight, choosing Irving to write his life story. Mr Hughes wants a million dollar advance, apparently, and will only communicate through Mr Irving… Amazingly, they go for it. A true story about a fake biography, Lasse Hallström’s film is a spry escapade, swept along by Richard Gere’s infectious self-aggrandisement as Irving: the bigger his lies, the more desperately he (and everyone else) believes in them. Alfred Molina, meanwhile, is priceless as his dozy partner in crime. Perhaps it’s no more than a literary footnote, but still unputdownable.

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