The Scapegoat (2012)

 |  Drama  |  9 September 2012 (UK)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,582 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 3 critic

Set in 1952, as England prepares for the coronation, The Scapegoat tells the story of two very different men who have one thing in common - a face.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
John / Johnny
Lady Spence
Father McReady
Eloise Webb ...
Mary Lou
Roland Oliver ...
Arthur Moffat


As England is preparing for the coronation of Elizabeth II, schoolmaster John Standing comes face to face with Johnny Spence, his exact double in appearance. After a night of drinking, Standing awakes to find Spence has stolen his identity. Unsuccessful at explaining the unusual situation, Standing settles into the vacancy left by Johnny Spence. Yet with his new life comes numerous problems, including trying to juggle a wife and two mistresses and family secrets that could prove deadly... Written by L. Hamre

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9 September 2012 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

O Bode Expiatório  »

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Remake of The Scapegoat (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

The magic creeps up on you...
18 September 2012 | by (Berkeley, CA, USA) – See all my reviews

The premise is, of course, completely absurd. Is it really possible that any two unrelated strangers could look so much alike that not even a mistress, wife, or mother could spot the difference? Well, no. But the feeling here is not of absurdity, but rather whimsy. The story maintains a pose of realism even as it verges into the fantastic.

So don't expect one of those thrillers with a water-tight plot and gritty realism. This is a story about wish-fulfillment and the freedom of discovering in yourself a whole new set of possibilities. It's also about thinking of your life as it might look from the outside, as viewed by a stranger taking your place; what would he see that you're missing? Count your blessings, you fool!

Lovely performances by all, but especially Matthew Rhys in the lead role.

The magic in this movie creeps up on you slowly, and is not fully felt until the very end. The sum of the movie is more than its parts. Director-writer Charles Sturridge has done this before (the Brideshead Revisited original TV series, A Handful of Dust) and here he does it again. Bravo!

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