Friday, May 23, 2014

The Double


Doubles, doppelgangers, clones, and parallel universe alter-egos are strangely all the rage in film this year.  Jake Gyllenhaal pulls double duty in the ultra-bizarre Enemy (which is available on VOD beginning today.)  Ed Harris is an exact lookalike to Annette Bening's ex-husband in the melodrama The Face of Love.  'Orphan Black' (which is on my list to binge on this weekend) is quite popular on the BBC.  And two upcoming films which are absolutely worth your time, 'The One I Love', and 'Coherence' both deal with similar subjects.  Weird. 

This time it's Jesse Eisenberg playing dual roles.  One is a meek and lonely man overlooked by women and at work.  The other, who looks and sounds exactly like him, is brimming with confidence.  And not only does no one notice their similarity, but the latter is beloved by all.  Mia Wasikowska costars as the object of his affection, and Wallace Shawn, Chris O'Dowd, Sally Hawkins, and Cathy Moriarty also show up.  It's a bizarro world worthy of Terry Gilliam, The Coen Brothers, and David Lynch.  I'd say it's 'Brazil' meets 'Barton Fink', but not quite as good as either.  I loved it for its quirkiness, but I would have loved it more if it had a better payoff. 

In the meantime, I can't help but wonder if a guy who looks and sounds just like me but is better in every way is finishing his wittier and more interesting review of this film right now.  Damn you Frian Blieder!

'The Double' is in limited release in theaters and also available at home on Video on Demand.

Grade: B+

Who is this movie for?  Fans of Gilliam, the Coens, Lynch, and bizarre art house cinema will probably love the heck out of it.

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