2 items from 2014
Who’s got two Eisenbergs and knows how to use them? That would be British sitcom star-turned director Richard Ayoade, whose second feature, the dementedly funny and even more unnerving The Double, is a buy one star, get one free affair. Playing opposite himself, Oscar-nominee Jesse Eisenberg puts on a paranoid clinic as a man literally at war with himself – or at least, a version of himself that’s smoother, sexier and more duplicitous than he could ever be. It’s a loopy, occasionally nasty experience that Eisenberg is pulling double-duty to shoulder, but it’s Ayoade who’s the real one to watch, as The Double cements him as one of Britain’s most promising up-and-coming directors.
Though best known in Britain as the endearingly oblivious Moss from The I.T. Crowd, North American viewers may only recognize Ayoade for as his role as the only thing even remotely »
- Sam Woolf
[This is a re-post of my review from the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. The Double opens today in limited release and is available on VOD] Director Richard Ayoade delivered a visually distinct, memorable, and funny film with 2010’s Submarine. With his follow-up, The Double, he has made his imagery even more distinct and eye-catching by building a new world from scratch; showcasing Erik Wilson’s gorgeous cinematography; and creating a remarkable and unusual blending of absurd comedy with psychological thriller. Furthermore, star Jesse Eisenberg takes his two familiar character types, and fits them both into the unique setting Ayoade has conjured. The result is a movie that can be overly forthright with its themes, but is still utterly captivating. Simon James (Eisenberg) works as an office drone in an unusual company doing unspecified, unrewarding tasks for CEO and deific figure “The Colonel” (James Fox). From the very beginning, the entire world is against the timid Simon. He’s treated like a stranger at the place where he’s worked for seven years, his crush Hannah (Mia Wasikowska) barely notices him, »
- Matt Goldberg
2 items from 2014
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