Mike D'Angelo
May 21, 1999 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Impostors

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
performer
Oliver Platt, Stanley Tucci, Steve Buscemi, Hope Davis, Alfred Molina, Lili Taylor
director
Stanley Tucci
genre
Comedy

We gave it a C+

Two by Tucci, demonstrating conclusively that this mercurial character actor/indie director does his best work when he’s reined in by another, equally forceful personality. Winchell, a by-the-numbers HBO biopic directed by Paul Mazursky (Enemies, a Love Story), has little to recommend it apart from Tucci’s Golden Globe-winning performance as Walter Winchell, but that’s nearly enough, given the forceful, charismatic aplomb with which he tackles the larger-than-life story of the big daddy of gossip columnists. Left to his own devices in The Impostors, however, which he also directed (sans the steadying hand of his Big Night co-helmer Campbell Scott, who does appear in a hilarious turn as a German martinet), Tucci has a tendency to speak loudly and carry a big shtick; long stretches of this zany shipboard farce are frenetic without actually being funny.
Winchell: B-
Impostors: C+

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