Enemy

Rated R 90 minutes 2014

I haven't read José Saramago's 2002 novel The Double, but its premise—an introverted history teacher meets a small-time actor who is his double, and drives both the actor and himself nuts—is the sort of Kafkaesque nightmare that's difficult to film. Much of the suspense takes place inside the characters' minds, and the obscure narrative calls for a more delicate balance between realism and fantasy than Canadian director Denis Villeneuve (Incendies, Prisoners) can provide. This is fitfully successful as a mood piece, though the dream imagery is heavy-handed, the characters sketchily realized, and the high-toned dialogue comes out stilted more often than not. This is best enjoyed for the wordless sequences in which Villeneuve and cinematographer Nicolas Bolduc exploit Toronto's postmodern architecture to creepy effect. With Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, and Isabella Rossellini.

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Enemy

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