Compared to 2015, next year might look like a barren desolate wasteland for cinema, marked only by the occasional reboot (I’m looking at you RoboCop) and few other quasi-blockbusters. Indeed, it does seem all the studios have decided to save their capital franchises for the massive cinematic confrontation that’s due to kick off in the blockbuster congested 2015. But of course, that doesn’t mean 2014 will not be another great year for cinema, especially in the indie and film festival circuit. Take for example ’s upcoming Dostoyevsky adaptation, The Double.
Now, if you’re a fan of British comedy, Richard Ayoade should be a name you’re already familiar with, if you’re not, then you should get prepared to be. Ayoade first made his name (which it seems no one is capable of pronouncing properly) in Britain as a comedic triple threat, being an actor, director and writer. He’s perhaps best known as the geeky IT assistant Maurice Moss in The IT Crowd, but he first rose to my attention as Dean Learner, the fictional ‘actor’ who played a no-nonsense, shotgun toting, hospital administrator in the 1980’s medical horror spoof Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace — a show which is quite frankly the best thing ever consigned to celluloid. And I do not say that lightly.
But Ayoade was not content to limit himself to cult British comedy which hardly anyone actually saw. Instead, he shifted his attention to feature films, making his big screen directorial debut with Submarine in 2010. This quirky, and slightly surreal, coming of age story perfectly walked the line between comedy and drama — presenting a romantic story which was neither overly fantastical or sycophantic, but decidedly real, familiar and moving.
This brings me to The Double. Although a larger project than Submarine, I’m glad to see Ayoade has rejected the temptations of Hollywood and has stuck to a scale he is comfortable with. Although casting and may have elevated the profile of his second feature film, the project still appears to adhere to a style similar to that of Submarine — something which steps into surrealism but is still firmly rooted in human emotion.
In The Double, Eisenberg plays Simon, a mild mannered office worker who is ineffectively chasing the affections of Hannah (Wasikowska). Suddenly his exact doppelganger, James, arrives. It’s not long before James who, personality wise, is completely opposite to Simon, starts invading his life, stealing his girl and slowly driving him insane. Anyway, I’ve babbled on long enough. Check out the trailer below:
Having debuted at the TIFF earlier this year, The Double is about to make the jump to Sundance, and hopefully, an imminent theater release. Those who have already seen it have been drawing favorable comparisons to ’s Brazil and the works of Kafka and George Orwell, all of which is reassuring to say the least.
What do you think? Will you be checking out The Double in 2014?