The Hoax While I’ve never been all that impressed with Richard Gere’s body of work, here the man finally manages to validate his status as an actor. In Lasse Hallström’s journalistic caper movie, Gere gets a turn to lay on the underplayed charm as the infamous conman Clifford Irving. For those under the age of 40, Clifford Irving was a moderately respected novelist back in the ’70s, introduced here as his latest work has been rejected by a publishing house, leaving him deeply in debt and desperate enough to hatch a mad scheme: fake the autobiography of deranged recluse Howard Hughes under the assumption that the man would be too loopy and/or publicity shy to contest it. And briefly, it looks as if he’s going to pull it off, as he gets a healthy advance from a book company … and a ton of publicity. Whoops. It was a horrible idea for a scam, but a great idea for a dark comedy … and one that assuredly lives up to its potential.