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The Scapegoat (2012)

 |  Drama  |  9 September 2012 (UK)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,212 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

Cast overview, first billed only:
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John / Johnny
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Lady Spence
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Father McReady
...
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Charlotte
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Frances
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Paul
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Nina
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...
George
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Fincher
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Mary Lou
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Headmaster
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Landlord
Roland Oliver ...
Arthur Moffat
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Storyline

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)  »

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Connections

Version of The Scapegoat (1959) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Loved it
16 September 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I liked this "Scapegoat" from 2012 better than the 1959 version, though they are both good. This one is warmer and I love the message the maid gives John at the end.

Set in England of 1952 at the time of the Coronation (changed from France) John and Johnny (Matthew Rhys) meet by accident and are both shocked - they look exactly alike. John has been let go from his teaching position and is on a walking tour; Johnny comes from big money and is dreading going home. John gets drunk and when he wakes up in the morning, all his things are gone and in their place are all of Johnny's things. A chauffeur arrives to pick him up and John reluctantly goes along. When he gets to this huge estate, he tries to tell the various people in the house that he's not Johnny, but no one listens. So he becomes Johnny.

John learns a few things about Johnny. He has a wife (Alice Ewing-Orr) and a child (Eloise Webb). He's sleeping with his sister-in-law (Jodhi May) and a woman in the village (Sylvie Testud); his sister (Sheridan Smith) loathes him; his mother (Eileen Atkins) is a morphine addict and he is to have brought her more; and his brother (Andrew Scott) is in his shadow. And he has been away to settle a contract dispute with their foundry's biggest client.

John, however, being much more sensitive and sober than Johnny, realizes something else: This is a wonderful family that, like the family's business, is in desperate need of some love and attention. Unfortunately, when Johnny returns under cover of darkness for his own nefarious reasons, he doesn't like it when he realizes that John has completely taken over and decides to re-enter the family and take care of business.

Wonderful story, well acted by all involved, particularly Matthew Rhys in the dual role as the gentle John and the aggressive Johnny, who is only out for himself. At the end, his mother's nursemaid (Phoebe Nichols) has some words of wisdom. I love the ending.

Very entertaining. Don't dwell on how unrealistic it is. Lots of things are. Enjoy it for what it is.


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