Rated R · 92 minutes · 2014

Dark comedy
Director Richard Ayoade pays a nice visual homage to the likes of David Lynch and Terry Gilliam with this, an adaptation of the 1846 novella by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Jesse Eisenberg plays Simon, an employee at a bleak office (that reminds of Gilliam’s Brazil) where he is unnoticed by coworkers, and hapless in his pursuit of Hannah (Mia Wasikowska) who works in the copy room. When his exact double, a new employee named James, shows up, he’s everything Simon wants to be. Brash, confident, and great with the ladies, James mentors Simon for a while, but things go bad quickly. Eisenberg is given the task of creating two genuinely different personalities that look exactly alike, even down to their bland choice of tan clothing. He isn’t given the benefit of a pencil mustache or a top hat for the evil twin. He accomplishes the feat, mainly, in the cadence of his voice. James rolls off sentences with no hesitations, while Simon is prone to stammering. Wasikowska, who can be a rather drab actress, is good here, as she was in some of her better efforts like Stoker and The Kids Are All Right. The Double stands as proof that Ayoade is a formidable director, who manages a distinct vision even when he’s taking bits and pieces from other directors. He doesn’t have a follow-up to this on his slate as of yet. I hope that changes soon. It also stands as proof that Eisenberg being cast as Lex Luthor in Batman v Superman might wind up being a very cool move.

See our full review: Twin Trouble

Twin Trouble

Nothing says 'summer blockbuster' like the phrase 'adapted from a novella by Dostoyevsky' »

Director: Richard Ayoade
Producer: Robin Fox, Amina Dasmal, Michael Caine, Graeme Cox, Tessa Ross and Nigel Williams
Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, Rade Serbedzija, Cathy Moriarty, Gemma Chan, Noah Taylor, James Fox, Yasmin Paige and Chris O'Dowd


The Double


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What others are saying (4)

The Coast Halifax The Double Directed by Michael Brandt (VVS Films) by Carsten Knox 02/06/2012
Portland Mercury Eisenberg vs. Eisenberg The Double's a sly riff on Dostoyevsky. by Alison Hallett 05/21/2014
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Charleston City Paper Jesse Eisenberg plays polar opposites in The Double At its core, The Double is a story about learning to stand up for yourself. Yes, we know, we've all heard that before. "Find your voice!" "Make waves!" "Make people notice you!" by Brian Palmer 05/21/2014

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