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Enemy 2013 2014 José Saramago, The Double, Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini, Kedar Brown, Stephen R. Hart, Frank Welker, Denis Villeneuve Spider Ring

Enemy [Mild Spoilers]: when a history lecturer spots his doppelgänger in the background of a movie scene he becomes increasingly fascinated by the actor. Quite a difficult film to articulate, this probably falls vaguely under the Psychological Thriller banner. There’s a deliberately slow and intense build up, magnified by a doom-laden score that the intensity relies heavily on. This is completely Jake’s film, as we see him pull off playing two people, and then each character ‘impostering’ the other (Imagine Face/Off^²). Stylistically, there’s an intense amber hue for the duration, which I didn’t really see the point of – or understand. Naturally, there’s a lot of playing around with duality, repetition, mirrors, doubles, from the get-go, and although the film’s not explicitly wrapped up (the ending is a bit of a mystery/clusterfuck) there are a lot of clues and lines in there; namely that our lead may have a split personality. Definitely the least accessible film since he started working with ‘big’ names; this bleak, tense, and dark thriller is the perfect appetiser for Arrival; and lays out the “un film de Denis Villeneuve” style that he’s kept right through to his current, mega-budget films.

Score: 6.5/10

Enemy 2013 2014 José Saramago, The Double, Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini, Kedar Brown, Stephen R. Hart, Frank Welker, Denis Villeneuve Doppelganger

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The Assassin Next Door: when her only way out of prostitution is to carry out a few hits, a desperate woman jumps at the chance. Set in an Israeli slum, and opening with a couple of prozzies being beaten and stabbed up, you know this one’s going to be a gritty affair. What you don’t expect from a film called “The Assassin Next Door” is a well-acted foreign drama about women fighting against the odds, that just happens to have a few action scenes. In a way it’s reminiscent of Leon in that you actually care about properly developed characters and their predicament. Kurylenko is shockingly good in this, but you kind of feel that she’s wasted in the part, and should be appearing in more heavy-hitting films. You know the film’s good when things like a sexy Bond Girl holding a big gun, Bond Girl getting her lungs out, and lesbian undertones are only minor distractions from the dramatic story! Despite being a mid-budget affair this boasts decent script and solid acting by all involved.

Score: 6.5/10