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The Double

The Double FFF 2014
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  • Directed by: Richard Ayoade
  • UK, 2013, 93 minutes
  • In English

Richard Ayoade (Submarine) updates Dostoevsky’s classic novella in this darkly hilarious nightmare of office futility starring Jesse Eisenberg in an incredible performance as both the meek and ineffectual Simon James and his doppelgänger, the brash and assertive James Simon. Simon James is a timid man living an isolated existence in an indifferent world. He is overlooked at work, routinely humiliated by his boss (Wallace Shawn), scorned by his mother, and ignored by the woman of his dreams (Mia Wasikowska). The arrival of new coworker James Simon changes everything. James is both Simon's physical double and his complete opposite—confident, charismatic, successful, and superficial. And to Simon's horror, this double slowly starts to take over his life. With it's highly distinctive and stylishly-retro look, this visual marvel is a complete original and boasts a superb supporting cast, including Chris O'Dowd, Sally Hawkins, Noah Taylor, and Cathy Moriarty. Ayoade’s understated brand of comedy has never been better than in this delicious blend of existential crisis and Kafka-esque paranoia that brings to mind Terry Gilliam’s masterful Brazil.