The Double

(GB, 2013, 93 mins, DCP)
CAST Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, Noah Taylor, Cathy Moriarty, James Fox
Classification: Unclassified, Membership Required


Jesse Eisenberg take 2: here he’s timid office worker Simon James, a non-person to most, including the lovely Hannah (Mia Wasikowska), a co-worker who is also the apple of his eye. Enter charismatic young hotshot James Simon (Eisenberg again). No one seems to notice he’s the spitting image of Simon, and though at first he feigns a certain friendliness to his near-namesake, it’s not long before the new man has begun to take over his job, his apartment, his girl, his entire life...

A tour-de-force from Eisenberg, who has great fun playing up and against his nerdball image, the film is also a virtuoso exercise in existential black comedy from the supremely talented comic actor-turned-director Richard Ayoade (more familiar, probably, from The IT Crowd, than his directorial debut Submarine), who riffs cheekily on Kafka according to Welles and Gilliam, with a side order of Jeunet’s Delicatessen thrown in. Co-written by Harmony Korine’s brother Avi from the Dostoevsky novella, The Double has style to spare - but it’s at least as chilling as it is funny, and all parts in-between.

"As a pure head-trip visual and auditory experience it feels like one of the biggest discoveries, and biggest surprises, of 2014."—Andrew O’Hehir,

"Daring, hilarious and wickedly clever."—The Playist (Indiewire)