Literate, little seen thriller
Matthew Horner | USA | 03/29/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Here's one of those movies I love to find for people. Who decides which movies get major releases and which ones are dispatched to a celluloid land fill? I've known some studio executives in my time. Typically, they'd shrug their shoulders and say, "Go Figure!". "Incognito" was released in theaters in the UK and in Finland in late 1997. In April 1998, it got a limited two week run here. True, it will never make AFI's Top 100, but as decent escapist entertainment, it is a lot better than many of those turkeys that get millions of dollars in publicity. Some of these I refuse to write about because it's impolite to review something you can't finish watching.This clever little thriller is director John Badham's best work in a while. Badham was a really hot talent in the 1970's. There are a few holes in the plot, but he makes up for this in its entertainment factor. The subject matter is interesting. Most people don't think about art forgery often. As a profession and a business, it's been around for just a few decades. I think it began around the time artists actually got paid for their efforts. I assure you that selling art through galleries is a 20th Century invention. Here, Patric not only acts, he holds his own playing against the powerful and beautiful French actress, Irene Jacobs. Typically, American actors seem awkward and uncomfortable playing against French actresses. This cannot be said of Mr. Patric. His love scenes with Jacobs may cause your TV screen to fog up from the steam. Several things intrigued me about "Incognito". The character delineation is keener than usual for a thriller. Patric's art forger is not proud of what he does. This is a passionate, intelligent man, who is the first to admit that this is all about money. He knows that the huge sums he's earns does not alter the fact that, anyone who can successfully fake almost any painter's style, is so gifted that they should be doing original works of their own. When contacted by a couple of delightfully devious and evil art gallery owners, he at first not so politely refuses to do a virtually impossible forgery. He's dislike these men, but an offer of $500,000 finally changes his mind. The writing and the acting in "Incognito" is atypical of a thriller, because that aspect becomes subordinate to other events, such as Patric's complex love affair with Jacobs, who plays a noted French art professor. The work of art he must imitate is one by Rembrandt that lost at sea centuries ago. All that survives is the ship's manifest, which lists it only as the portrait of a man. Patric's character is a perfectionist. What man? What face? Then he remember his father [Rod Stieger], a failed artist, and begins by using his father's eyes. As the cameras twist and rotate madly around the artist, the portrait magically begins to take form. This whole section of the movie is much more intense than I can make it sound. When the painting is finished, Patric's real problems begin. He really should have turned those nasty art dealers down. Here begins the treachery and deceit any thriller must have."Incognito" was filmed with great attention to detail in and around London, Paris and Amsterdam."
At Last - A Different Storyline
Tom Burch | Montgomery County Maryland | 07/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The story of a insecure young painter, son of a noted artist, who is nevertheless a master art forger. A legend in forgery circles at a young age, he is approached by men who want him to forge a painting that has never been seen before - one rumored to have been painted by the Dutch master, Rembrandt. I enjoyed this movie because, at age 56, I've seen almost every movie storyline there is 20 times or more and there is little interest to be held by storylines that are so predictable. The way Patric's likeable character went about forging the painting was fascinating..... how do you cheat scientific analysis of the canvas and oils in the painting that, if authenticated, could be worth 10 or 20 million dollars? A movie to watch and enjoy, it will force your mind to "think" for at least a few minutes - unlike the majority of the pablum cherned out by Hollywood these day. A great "little" movie - a keeper in my estimation."
Executed with Ingenuity!
Glenn M. Schoditsch | Richmond, Virginia USA | 04/05/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"We have here an intriguing and cunning adventure in the world of art forgery. The action spans across Europe with American art forger Harry Donovan, aptly played by Jason Patric, commissioned by a less than savory group to "create" a lost masterpiece by the Dutch master Rembrandt van Rijn. The beautiful Irene Jacob plays his love interest, Prof. Marieke van den Broeck. A perfect mix of suspense and intrigue with a more than satifactory ending.
As others have have provided storyline details, I will comment on this movies vibrant cinematography with sensual colors and brilliant lighting and a supurb musical score. The DVD is packed with bonus features that will satify everyone. I highly recommend the accompaning sountrack CD to complete a most enjoyable movie."
Excellent, believable, unlike usual tripe, superb acting
Jewel Whelan | America | 10/22/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Kudos to the casting direction for finding truly believable characters from the smallest bit part to the lead. Jason Patric was cynical enough to have actually accepted such an offer as was made by sleazy dealers. His love for his father was so delicately displayed that it belied some of his cynicism. Having done extensive traveling I enjoyed the scenery, but being much too busy to spend time with most immature plots dwelling on excessive violence rather than story material, this film was highly recommended and I agree with every word of praise. It isn't for children who enjoy cars, boats, planes and buses being blown up. But then some of us who would enjoy watching a good film are adults."