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Adam Bell is a Toronto area History college professor. He is a rather somber man, largely because he is stuck in a routine, which includes a relationship with his live-in girlfriend, Mary. While watching a rental movie, he spots an actor in a bit part that looks like him. He becomes obsessed with finding out about this double of his. He learns that the actor's stage name is Daniel Saint Claire, whose legal name is Anthony Claire. Claire is a Toronto based actor with only a few on-screen credits, and is married to a woman named Helen who is currently several months pregnant. Adam then becomes obsessed with meeting Claire, who he learns upon first sighting that they look exactly the same, from the facial hair to a scar each has, but Claire who outwardly is more "put together" than Adam. Their lives become intertwined as Claire himself ends up becoming obsessed with Adam, but in a slightly different way. Written by
According to the director, Denis Villeneuve, Javier Bardem was offered the lead role but the actor felt he didn't suit the character. Christian Bale was also offered the role and he wanted to do it but couldn't due to scheduling conflicts with other projects. See more »
When Anthony calls Adam they agree to meet on a Sunday, one hour drive out of town.
When there is the aerial shot of Adam driving to the appointment, shortly there is a billboard in the background displaying the date of "today". It states it's July the 13th of 2012.
This date is on a Friday. See more »
[leaving a message]
Hello, darling, it's your mother. Thank you for showing me your new apartment. I'm worried about you. I mean, how can you live like that? Anyway, would you call me back? Let's get together again. I love you.
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Watching this film, knowing little to nothing of what would find me, turned out one of the most pleasant film experiences in months. And perhaps it might be necessary to explain 'pleasant' here: the word does not necessarily mean that one is comforted, has fun in the usual meaning. Film-wise it means, at its best, to be challenged. Challenged, here, meant to be glued to the screen. It's a little difficult to write a review on it. I've read through some of the others and saw that almost all reviewers had problems. Some were trying to solve the riddle (the more confidence displayed, the less successful they were). Perhaps it's best to paraphrase what one of the reviewers wrote: try and go through this film as if through a dream, through reality enhanced. Enhanced reality feels very much like the opposite, and this is the feel of the film. From the choice of colours to acting to ambivalence about identity, the result is as hypnotic as it's unsettling. The very simple story is told very plainly, but underlying is the intricacy of a nightmare. The discomfort feels like a single, stretched emotion. Something about this film works wonderfully, and as with the best of literature that narrates between the lines I wasn't always able to tell why (that went the same way for me with the spider-theme: it worked before I understood). The music is an inseparable part of the film. The film wouldn't have been the same with another soundtrack, a large part of what works in it isn't merely carried by it, but co-created. Pleasant also, albeit in a more common sense, to be finally able after quite some time to give a best vote for an achieved fusion of everything that makes a film for the viewer, unsettling, challenging and deeply rewarding. 10 out of 10 Theraphosae.
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