Incognito [1997]

Jason Patric stars as ace art forger Harry Donovan, eager to get out of the counterfeiting business and become a legitimate painter, but willing to take on one last, monumental job: creating a fake Rembrandt that will fool absolutely everyone. The promised money is good but the clients are creeps: gun-toting art dealers who ultimately set up Harry for a murder, forcing him to go on the run across Europe with an art expert (Irene Jacob) in tow. The film has a major obstacle in Donovan himself, an arrogant and unlikable jerk played with unappealing self-absorption by Patric. Worrying about this guy's fate is not an inviting prospect, but there are compensations in Jacob's smart performance and Rod Steiger's emotionally raw presence as Harry's mentor father. Director John Badham takes particular delight in penetrating the arcane world of forgery and in detailing Harry's working methods, from intense research to color selections to choices of tools and aging processes. Badham keeps us constantly curious and fascinated by this unholy marriage of expertise and deceit, and at least nominally interested in Harry's efforts to free himself of the criminal squandering of his talents. The crisp DVD image does justice to Badham's careful palette of colors, light, and European exotica, and special features include interviews with Jacob, Steiger, and Badham, plus trailers and a panel discussion involving Badham, writer Jordan Katz, and composer John Ottman. The DVD also includes English and Spanish audio tracks, and English, French, and Spanish subtitles. --Tom Keogh

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