The Forger (2012 film)

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The Forger
Carmel FilmPoster.jpeg
Directed by Lawrence Roeck
Produced by Michael-Ryan Fletchall
Craig Comstock
Written by Carlos De Los Rios
Starring Josh Hutcherson
Annie Islam
Hayden Panettiere
Lauren Bacall
Alfred Molina
Dina Eastwood
Billy Boyd
Music by James Dooley
Cinematography Walt Lloyd
Edited by Michel Aller
Release dates
March 9, 2011 (premiere)
July 3, 2012 (DVD)
Running time
94 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Forger (also known as Carmel-by-the-Sea) is a 2012 American drama film about art forgery, it stars Josh Hutcherson, Hayden Panettiere, Alfred Molina, Dina Eastwood and Lauren Bacall in her final film role.[1] The film is produced by Michael-Ryan Fletchall and Craig Comstock, directed by Lawrence Roeck, and written by Carlos De Los Rios.[2]


Joshua Mason (Josh Hutcherson) is a troubled 15-year-old who is abandoned by his mother in a motel. Joshua finishes a painting someone had started at the mission and sells it for fifty dollars only to be caught by the artist. After living there for over a week, he manages to create several pieces of art; on the walls, mirror and ceiling before abandoning the place. A social worker, Vanessa Reese, is called by the manager about them and the boy, because the manager hasn't seen the boy's mother for sometime. Meanwhile, Joshua is wandering around the town of Carmel, having nowhere to go when he meets Amber during her lunch break. They talk through the tardy bell and are caught by one of the school's faculty. Claiming to not have heard the bell, she is dragged off to be sent to the principal's office. Joshua becomes upset with how aggressive the teacher is being towards her and tells him several times to give her a break. After being ignored, Joshua climbs the fence and pulls Amber from his grip only to be confronted by her older brother who thinks he is harassing his younger sister. Joshua ends up punching Ryan, only to be hit several times in return. He runs off as the rain starts, hides in a drain pipe, but gets caught in the streaming water. His hand is cut as he falls out of the pipe.

He sees a house up on the hill and breaks into it, needing a place to get out of the rain. He cleans up his cut and makes himself a meal. While exploring the vacant mansion, he finds an art Studio. Inside, he finds a painting that is only half complete and finishes it, before falling asleep. When he awakens he is confronted by the police, before being taken to child services. There, he tells them that he hasn't seen his mother nor does he know where she is.

Back at the mansion, the owner Everly finds the finished painting and believes the boy has real talent since he had been unable find anyone to complete portrait, let alone do it with complete accuracy. Everly decides to take in the boy thinking that he might be able to exploit his art talent. While eating breakfast one morning, Everly gives Joshua a fountain pen as a gift and the two talk about art. Joshua tells Everly about the artists that he has read about and saying that his favorite happens to be the creator of Dennis the Menace (Hank Ketcham).

During an art benefit, he meets the kind old woman Anne-Marie Cole (Lauren Bacall). He, also, introduces himself to Ryan, Amber's older bother, and the two apologize to each other about what had gone down at the school yard the other day. Ryan states that Amber had given him the full story of what happened and thanks Joshua for looking out for his sister. The two talk about Anne-Marie and how she is cool but is loaded.

That night, Joshua breaks into Anne-Marie's but is unsure of why he does. He begins to go through some of her things and finds a vial filled with something that he later finds out to be cyanide, as well as a picture of an unknown man. Anne-Marie then comes in and asks him what he is doing. He turns to her and asks her who is the man in the photograph. She tells him it is of an artist named George and nothing more. She then calls Everly to come and collect him.

The next day he and Amber talk on the beach. When Amber asks what she could do to repay him he states that she could give him a kiss. She laughs it off and races him down the beach but drops her keys in an effort to win. She beats him and while trying to get her keys back from him, he kisses her without warning. She pushes him off, demands for him to give her the keys before leaving him on the beach. There he finds a large black dog and learns that it happens to be Anne-Marie's dog Matilda. He takes Matilda home to Anne-Marie and the two of them talk over a bowl of soup.

Meanwhile, Miss Reese, continues on her search to find Joshua's mother and learns from an old friend of hers that she may be living with her boyfriend. Joshua goes to Amber's and gives her a portrait of her that he had drawn for her. she smiles and comments that it looks good. she invites him to sit with her and Joshua apologizes for what he did at the beach and that he was stupid and foolish for kissing her like that. She tells him that it was the worst kiss she had ever experienced and teaches him how to "properly" kiss a girl. That first you kiss the hand, then you kiss the girl.

Meanwhile, Everly has sold the painting that Joshua had completed earlier, but needs to complete a Winslow Homer, in just a couple of weeks, or lose his galleries along with everything he owns. He decides to take a risk and use the boy seeing as he is the only one who could complete the portrait accurately and one time. Joshua attends a party that Amber is throwing and sees her in the arms of another guy, who happens to be her cousin. he grows jealous and follows them in the house and is about to confront him but he is held back by Ryan. Joshua and Ryan fight, resulting in Joshua hitting Ryan with a pool ball.

He goes to Anne-Marie's where she tends to his wounds. she tells him about how just seeing something won't give you who truth that you sometimes have to take a look at something in a different light. She then asks him if he would like to come and live with her. He tells her maybe, that he would have to think about it.

Back at Everly's he confronts him about his forgery scheme and how for five hundred dollars he will keep his mouth shut. Everly gives him a different proposition, he does one more painting and get half of the money made from it. Joshua says yes. For a week he learns about what forgers have to do so their paintings pass as authentic. When the painting is finished, Joshua decides he is going to steal it and run.

Meanwhile, Vanessa finds Joshua's mother. She lives with her boyfriend and a child that she is endangering. She then calls child protective services to get the child out of there. Vanessa goes back to her office and takes a closer look at Josh's file and learns that he has been abused by his mother. She then looks into Anne-Marie's background when she is told that Anne-Marie wants to become Joshua's permanent guardian. She learns about how Anne-Marie had been questioned by the police and falling under suspicion about forgery. She also learns of how Anne-Marie's house once caught fire and she had lost her family in the tragedy and was unable to save her only surviving daughter, even with surgery.

Vanessa then meets up with Joshua, and lies to him telling him that she could not find his mother. Joshua then breaks down in tears feeling that he is unwanted.

He goes to Anne-Marie's, after hearing a rumor from Everly that she was once a forger, and goes through her stuff and finds a forger's hammer as well as a newspaper clipping out how she was suspected by the police for art forgeries. He then runs from her feeling that he can trust no one.

Ryan comes up to Joshua and tells him that he needs to apologize to Amber which he does. Joshua then goes ahead and steals the painting. Anne-Marie goes to Everly's to talk to Josh and finds the door unlocked. She goes in and wanders into the art studio where she learns that Josh has stolen the painting. Joshua, then, goes to the art exhibit and returns the painting, but before he leaves Anne-Marie, in front of everybody, slices the portrait and tells everyone that it was a forgery and that she at one time painted one of Everly's forgeries and has regretted it ever since. The portrait is confirmed to be a forgery when an under painting of Dennis the Menace is revealed. In the end, Joshua says yes to Anne-Marie's request and lives with her, and is also in a relationship with Amber. He states that, "I wasn't sure what I was looking for at first when I broke into Anne-Marie's house, but now I know. I was looking for a place to belong."



The Forger, previously titled Carmel-by-the-Sea, marks Lawrence Roeck's debut as a feature film director. Experience Media Studios acquired the unfinished film in early 2010, and completed it by February 2011.[3][4]


The film's 24-day shooting schedule finished on location in Carmel, California in February 2009,[5][6] and included Carmel locals in several key scenes.[7]


"Livin," performed by Ribsy's Nickel; written by Jesse Corona & Jason Williams; published by Ribsy's Nickel Music BMI[citation needed]


The film world premiered as Carmel-by-the-Sea at the Arclight in Hollywood, California on March 9, 2011.[8] Following a title change to The Forger, it was released on DVD on July 3, 2012 due to a decision to delay the release until after The Hunger Games (in which Josh Hutcherson plays a leading role) had premiered.[9]


  1. ^ Lipton, Brian Scott (2 February 2009). "Lauren Bacall to Star in Carmel Film". Theatre Mania. Retrieved 11 January 2010. 
  2. ^ BWW News Desk (1 February 2009). "Bacall, Molina & More Cast in New Indie Film 'Carmel'". Broadway World. Retrieved 11 January 2010. 
  3. ^ Weinstein, Joshua (15 February 2011). "After Starting, Stopping and Starting Again, 'Carmel-by-the-Sea' is Complete". The Wrap. Retrieved 15 February 2011. 
  4. ^ McNary, Dave (15 February 2011). "Delayed 'Carmel' Pic Wraps Production". Variety. Retrieved 15 February 2011. 
  5. ^ McNary, Dave (1 February 2009). "Hutcherson rounds out 'Carmel' cast". Variety. Retrieved 10 January 2010. 
  6. ^ "Carmel the movie". Monterey Peninsula Corps. Retrieved 11 January 2010. 
  7. ^ Joseph, Adam (19 February 2009). "Locals turn out to complete a big scene for feature flick Carmel". Monterey County Weekly. Retrieved 13 January 2010. 
  8. ^ Carmel-by-the-Sea Red Carpet Premiere, retrieved July 30, 2015.
  9. ^ "The Forger". 

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