Thursday, October 2, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

5 great movies about deception

By
From page B2 | January 25, 2013 |

LOS ANGELES — When scandalous tales of fraud involving superstar athletes Lance Armstrong and Manti Te’o were exposed in the last week, connections to films were immediate and obvious. The story of Notre Dame Football hero Te’o falling for a fake dead girlfriend on the Internet called to mind the documentary “Catfish.” And disgraced cyclist Armstrong, who has finally admitted to doping in winning the Tour de France a record seven times, is already the subject of a biopic that’s in the works.

It’s a huge topic that’s been explored in myriad ways on screen, and you’d probably come up with five entirely different choices, but here are my picks for five great movies about deception:

— “Vertigo” (1958): Speaking of fake dead women. … One of Alfred Hitchock’s best, it also feels incredibly personal — stylish and frightening, of course but also achingly sad. Yes, Jimmy Stewart is being manipulated, being duped into serving as part of a murder plot. And he’s foolish enough to let himself fall in love with Kim Novak’s doomed, quintessentially icy Hitchcockian blonde not once but twice. But he’s also deceiving himself, allowing his need for love to feed his obsessive quest to recreate that sensation all over again. Much is made of some of the film’s most famous images — the push/pull effect as Stewart’s character fights off his vertigo in the bell tower, the eerie, neon-green haze of the hotel room. But at its core, “Vertigo” is about needing to feel secure and loved.

— “Some Like It Hot” (1959): Named the greatest comedy of all time by the American Film Institute, the Billy Wilder classic is also predicated on one big, wacky lie. Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon pretend to be women to escape the clutches of mob thugs after they witness a massacre. Musicians Joe and Jerry change their names to Josephine and Daphne and join Sweet Sue’s All-Girl Orchestra, where they befriend sexy singer Sugar Kane Kowalczyk, played by Marilyn Monroe in one of her most Marliynish roles ever. The laughs come from how utterly unbelievable these men are as women, but also from how they try to maintain this elaborate ruse as both their emotions and their enemies close in on them.

— “The Usual Suspects” (1995): The movie itself is one big lie — a seemingly simple caper mystery that grows enormously complicated with layer upon layer of twists and tricks. I am not even going to begin to try to explain the plot — if you’ve seen it, you know it, and if you haven’t, you should. And then you, too, can say out loud, “A ha!” It’s the movie that put director Bryan Singer on the map and it won both of the Oscars for which it was nominated: for Christopher McQuarrie’s clever and complex original screenplay and for Kevin Spacey’s chilling supporting turn as the chatty (and unreliable) witness Verbal Kint.

— “Infernal Affairs” (2002): A loyal young member of the mob infiltrates the police force and an undercover cop works his way deep within the mafia. Years later, each man must sniff out the mole in the other’s organization — each man must find the other. Sound familiar? That’s because this hugely suspenseful Hong Kong thriller was the basis for “The Departed,” the 2006 film that finally earned Martin Scorsese his long-overdue Academy Award for best director (along with prizes for best picture, adapted screenplay and editing). The lies and cover stories must remain airtight, even as crises of identity and purpose begin to creep into the characters’ consciousness. Andy Lau and Tony Leung are both great as two sides of the same coin who must tap into their resourcefulness as the danger of being exposed increases.

— “Compliance”: This movie made me so angry while I was watching it. How could anybody be so stupid? How could anybody be tricked into falling for such outlandish manipulation? But that’s where the power comes from in writer-director Craig Zobel’s startling film with its understated performances: This did happen, over and over, across the country. He’s just exposing an element of human nature we’d rather suppress. A prank phone caller pretending to be a police officer (Pat Healy) tells the middle-aged manager of a fast-food restaurant (Ann Dowd) that a young, pretty employee (Dreama Walker) has stolen money from a customer, and leads her though a series of increasingly invasive, degrading investigative steps. Everyone goes along with this charade — no one thinks to question it — and all you can do is sit in your seat and watch, and squirm.

___

Think of any others? Share them with AP Movie Critic Christy Lemire through Twitter:http://twitter.com/christylemire .

Christy Lemire

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Vacaville man earns Carnegie heroism medal

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Head-on crash sends 2 to trauma centers

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
 
 
Veterans meet set in November

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Solano Tea Party Patriots meet next week

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Bevy of vintage warbirds expected at Nut Tree air show

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit hosts grand opening

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B6

Fairfield police log: Sept. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Sept. 30, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

.

US / World

FBI turns animal cruelty into top-tier felony

By The Associated Press | From Page: A3

 
California Catholics challenge abortion order

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

San Francisco expands free public Wi-Fi access

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

 
Judge: Stockton must treat pension like other debt

By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

Caltrans: Bay Bridge tower rods exposed to water

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Respiratory virus seen in 4 deaths; role unclear

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

2 children in Los Angeles County have enterovirus

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Liberia short on ambulances for Ebola patients

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Infant’s body found in California trash facility

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Ebola patient told hospital he was from Liberia

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

John Wayne’s heirs lose ‘Duke’ legal brawl

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Secret Service chief quits due to security lapses

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Palestinians: Israeli occupation must end in 2016

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Mexico’s probe of army slayings raises doubts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Hong Kong protesters threaten to occupy buildings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Man convicted of murder in killing over loud music

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 1 Comment

920 California chickens killed with golf club

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
3 Afghan soldiers who fled say they can’t go home

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Wife of slain Los Angeles-area mayor released

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
Poll: Divided voters still focus on economy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

App teaches kindergartners basic computer coding

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
2 white Ohio women sue over sperm from black donor

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

.

Opinion

Read this column ASAP or immediately

By Reg Henry | From Page: A11

 
Real reasons neighborhoods are in trouble

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

 
It’s time to teach history

By Jay Ambrose | From Page: A11

.

Living

Community Calendar: Oct. 2, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
.

Entertainment

Joy Behar to debut a 1-woman show in New York

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Tony Bennett sets mark as oldest act with No. 1 LP

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Lena Dunham launches tour for book of adult essays

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
‘Interstellar’ to be released 2 days early on film

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Steinem: Domestic violence discussion a positive

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
‘Orange is the New Black’ author talks Season 3

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Bumgarner, Giants silence Pirates 8-0 to advance

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
A’s part ways a day after 12-inning loss to Royals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

49ers prepare for familiar face in Chiefs Smith

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Raiders leave for bye after meeting with new coach

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

College notebook: Former Falcon Williams tearing it up as Torero

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
This date in sports history for Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

GM looks to new vehicles, China to boost profit

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
Stocks start October with a drop

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

5 reasons bonds may be less safe than you think

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
Why the bond market is more fragile than you think

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

.

Obituaries

Laura M. Gerdes-Lemmons

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
John ‘Bo’ M. Miller

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A8