UK Release date: 17th December 2010
Watched on Sky+ Wednesday 4th May 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
I do like a good documentary and this one certainly entertained, enthralled and amazed me all at the same time. It got quite a lot of notoriety when it came out, but I deliberately tried to avoid a lot of the comment spinning around the web at the time. I wanted to watch it (relatively) untainted by everyone else’s opinions. I’m really glad I did because I found a really interesting film about love and deception that has the added bonus of being a true story (although some say not).
Nev Schulman is a photographer who lives in New York. When he receives a painting of one of his published photographs, he is intrigued. When he finds out it was painted by an eight year old girl, Abbey, he is amazed. Abbey lives in Michigan with her mother, Angela and her father, Vince. They become friends via Facebook and Nev gets to know Abbey’s mother and her half-sister Meg. As time progresses, Nev and Meg start to develop a bit of a relationship. Around this time the filmmakers, and Nev, begin to suspect all is not what it seems. They decide to go to Michigan to meet the family… and I guess that’s about all I can tell you here.
I really enjoyed this film, it’s very well made with lots of nice little visual touches to offset the unfolding drama. As I said at the beginning, there was quite a bit of debate when this came out. It primarily revolved around whether it was a true documentary, or the filmmakers were making up a story. Well, from my point of view it looks pretty convincing to me, but I won’t be entirely surprised to find out it was all a hoax. Either way, I had an enjoyable 87 minutes and so I can’t really complain… Recommended.
My Score: 8.3/10