Friday, May 15, 2009

Dead Ringers

David Cronenberg, 1988 (6.8*)
This is an acting tour-de-force by Jeremy Irons, who plays twin gynecologists, one of whom has a decidely warped sense of reality. The brothers don’t let people know they are twins, which allows them to switch off with a new lover, played by Genevieve Bujold. It also lets them play around in a world of their own fantasy creation for the most part. Somewhere down road to bliss one brother takes a definitely wrong turn, and ends up somewhere between Salvador Dali and Marquis de Sade. Irons makes both brothers just slightly different, and turns in not only a career best performance but one of the best of all-time.

Puzzlingly, Irons wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar®; a group of actresses led a write-in campaign in protest but the Academy refused to accept the ballots. When he won the Oscar® for his next, and definitely inferior performance in Reversal of Fortune, he said “I have David Cronenberg to thank for this, and some of you out there know what I mean.” Like most Cronenberg films, this one is very disturbing and has some gore, which detracts from an otherwise interesting psychological study, but still worth seeing for the Irons performance alone.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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