THE WIZARD OF LIES!
- By RICH ANDREW
- Photo By Craig Blankenhorn/HBO
The mastermind behind the biggest cover-up of the financial sector, Bernie Madoff earns a new moniker in HBO’s latest film The Wizard of Lies, an exposé that seeks to uncover the man behind the monster. Much of the film’s wizardry lies with its wondrous cast as Robert De Niro does the impossible in his portrayal of a man deemed so irredeemable. De Niro’s artistry is a show of Madoff’s atonement, accosting us with the regrets of a man who merely wanted to know greatness — if just for a moment — but couldn’t admit his ultimate failure.
That kind of greatness is found in Michelle Pfeiffer as Ruth Madoff, and though she thoroughly disappears into the role, she’s not to be overlooked. Pfeiffer’s agony unveils Ruth’s naiveté, and she dares us to suffer alongside a wife hated for her husband’s sins, now broken in ways that can never be fixed. She’s even ostracized by her sons, played by Nathan Darrow (House of Cards) and Alessandro Nivola (American Hustle), both so convincing in their ignorance of their father’s fraud and the inescapable indignity of whether they knew.
HBO pulls off a compelling feat in how the film beautifully coerces sympathy for every member of the Madoff clan. Bernie Madoff may be The Wizard of Lies, but HBO’s film proves to be quite the revelation.
“The Wizard of Lies” premieres May 20th.