Tuesday, April 27, 2010

"The Chameleon" fan review

"Lilmouse", a huge Emilie's fan, attended The Chameleon premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival and wrote a review about the film. It contain some spoilers so watch out while reading:

I went to the Tribeca Film Festival to see a movie with Emilie de Ravin called The Chameleon

Plot Synopsis:
When teenage Nicholas Barclay (Grondin) mysteriously resurfaces after missing for over three years, his sister welcomes him with open arms and teary eyes. His mother (Barkin) takes his hand without even looking at him. But no one seems to question that he is who he claims to be, except for a no-nonsense FBI agent, Nancy (Janssen). She quickly starts noticing that pieces of the puzzle don't quite fit and gets down to the truth

Emilie was not at the festival, which was disappointing, but not unexpected. I kept hearing that the Lost wrap party was either April 23rd or April 24th, and no way would Emilie miss the wrap party for a show she's been on for 5 years for a film festival.

Ellen Barkin & Famke Janssen did show up. They introduced the film, but there wasn't a Q&A afterwards. After the movie, everyone left the theater, and I'm not even sure if the actors stuck around to see the film.

The film was very good. Ellen Barkin gave an amazing performance and I have to say she was even better than Emilie. When "her son" is found, she's so distant and I didn't understand why, but as the film slowly unfolds and we find out more about her character - like the guilt she carries - and family secrets, her actions make sense.

Emilie's mainly in the first half of the film because the boy that claims to be her brother lives with her. Her character - Kathy - is in MAJOR denial, and Emilie played it so well that sometimes I wanted to smack some sense into her. She was very different from Claire or any other character she played. Eventually, "Nicholas" becomes violent towards her and hard to deal with, so he goes to live with "his mom." Once "Nicholas" goes to live with the mother - Ellen Barkin - Emilie disappears and comes back for about two scenes.

I think my favorite scenes were the ones between Kimberly (Ellen Barkin) and "Nicholas." Even though he wasn't really her son, she did bond with him, and he doesn't give her up even when it's clear she knows something about her real son's disappearance.

Nich Stahl was a crazy asshole. It's never confirmed, but it's alluded to that he killed his brother - the real Nicholas - whose body still hasn't been found. Ellen Barkin's character is consumed with guilt because one son killed the other, and she didn't do anything to stop it. When she broke down, it was sad to watch and she was very believable.

The family is really messed up in the film, but "Nicholas" - his real name is Frederic - is even more dysfunctional. All he wants is love and it's found out he poses as missing children all over the world and seeks out families just to get love. In one scene, he's standing outside his real mom's home (who he was taken away from at the age of two) and calls her. Posing as someone else, he tells her that he was found dead. After she hangs up the phone, she turns on the TV like nothing happened.

The film is based on a true story. Frederic has stolen hundreds of identities. Even after he was arrested in the US, he went back to France (where he's from) and continued to steal identities. Nowadays, he's married and has two children. How a women could trust him enough to marry him and have kids with him, I don't know. But he's known throughout Europe as "The Chameleon." What a reputation to have, right?

The experience wasn't as exciting as the last Tribeca Film Festival I went to, but I'm glad I got to see the film because who knows if it'll come out.

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