Jeremy Irons, Geneviève Bujold, Heidi von Palleske, Barbara Gordon, Shirley Douglas
Part of the Classic Cronenberg Season
Dead Ringers stars Jeremy Irons in a dual role as Beverly and Elliot Mantle, brilliant twins who grow up to be brilliant gynaecologists. Beverly's name may be misleading; both twins are men, and they are unusually close, so much so that they routinely pretend to be each other. Of course everything depends on Irons' performances as the twins. He is an intelligent, subtle actor, and he actually does succeed in making the twins into substantially different people. In ways so understated we are sometimes not even quite aware of them, he makes it clear most of them time whether we are looking at Beverly or Elliott. He develops them separately, so that the chaos at the end really works. Irons convincingly appears as two separate people, and not as trick photography. Cronenberg approaches his trashy material with the objectivity of a scientist; it is his detached, cold style that makes the material creepy instead of simply sensational. The film is a stylistic tour de force, cold and creepy and centred on bleak despair.
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