2013, 93 minutes, color, United Kingdom
When his first feature, Submarine, played at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, Richard Ayoade was primarily known for his work as a comedian. Now he again shows his versatility as a writer/director with The Double, his darkly hilarious second film.
Simon James is a ghost. Friends, family, and coworkers meet his every action with complete indifference. He grimly goes through the motions, hoping for recognition that never comes. All of this changes when James Simon arrives. Physically, James and Simon are dead ringers. Yet in temperament, James is everything Simon is not: personable, spontaneous, assertive, and desirable. When James begins to take over Simon’s life, he is forced to act.
Jesse Eisenberg’s fantastic double performance is bolstered by a cast of seasoned character actors who bring Simon James’s gloomy retro world to life. Directed with a deftly comic hand and assured visual technique by Richard Ayoade, The Double is a stylish black comedy with acerbic wit to spare.
Director: Richard Ayoade
Screenwriter: Avi Korine
Producers: Robin Fox, Amina Dasmal
Executive Producers: Michael Caine, Graeme Cox, Tessa Ross, Nigel Williams
Co-producer: Andy Stebbing
Sound Editors: Nick Fenton, Chris Dickens
Composer: Andrew Hewitt
Principal Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, Noah Taylor, Cathy Moriarty, James Fox