I can’t imagine the feelings that anti-Jesse Eisenberg cinemagoers will get when they see him duplicated in the above trailer for Richard Ayoade’s upcoming sci-fi-ish darkly comedic thrillerThe Double, courtesy of Deadline. I assume some will loudly ponder why they wouldn’t have just hired Michael Cera to take over the role of Eisenberg’s doppelgänger, laughing loudly as no one listens. I’m sick of those people, and I hope that I’m all by myself whenever I get to watch this creepy looking flick, which is premiering this weekend at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The overbearing conceit in his Now You See Me performance aside, I think Eisenberg is a layered actor who still hasn’t seen his finest hour yet. The Double is the perfect film to show off those layers, as he’ll be playing Simon, an office worker seeking a promotion that is also being chased by James, a new employee who happens to look exactly like Simon, only with a better personality and more charisma. But no one else even notices, and it begins to slowly drive him down the winding road to crazy town. By replacing any in-film sounds and dialogue with blues legend Sun House’s “Grinnin’ in Your Face,” this trailer comes off as even more offsetting and interesting. I get the feeling that Eisenberg is walking with some nefarious purpose in mind (or minds), though I can’t be certain which character is which.
More so than the acting, I’m wildly interesting in seeing another film from Ayoade, the IT Crowd and Garth Marenghi’s Dark Places star wowed audiences with his subtle coming of age film Submarine in 2011. After that he made himself known to American audiences in The Watch, which was a complete waste of everyone’s time and talent. But with this adaptation of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s novella The Double, Ayoade will likely put himself on the map in a big way, trading comparisons to Wes Anderson with comparisons to Terry Gilliam. (Some have said the film is like a little brother to the madcappery that is Gilliam’s Brazil.)
The film also stars Mia Wasikowska as Simon’s neighbor and love interest, though she soon becomes James’ love interest. Then there’s the fabulous supporting cast of Wallace Shawn, Cathy Moriarty, James Fox, Noah Taylor, Yasmin Paige and Gemma Chan. The screenplay was a shared effort by Ayoade and Avi Korine, younger brother of indie filmmaker Harmony Korine (Spring Breakers), with whom he co-wrote another lookalike feature, 2007’s Mister Lonely.
Unfortunately, there’s no U.S. release date set for The Double, though I’m certain the response at TIFF will likely guide that decision. Though some may get this film confused with the other TIFF debut, An Enemy, in which Jake Gyllenhaal discovers he has a double. Good things come in threes, it’s said, but there’s nothing wrong with twos in this case.
Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.
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