Average Rating:
Rate this:
Adam Bell, a glum, disheveled history professor who seems disinterested even in his beautiful girlfriend Mary. Watching a movie on the recommendation of a colleague, Adam spots his double; a bit-part actor named Anthony St. Clair, and decides to track him down. The identical men meet and their lives become bizarrely and irrevocably intertwined.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Mar 26, 2021

doppelganger movie, drama

Dec 11, 2020

In 2003 Harold Bloom described Saramago as "the most gifted novelist alive in the world today"[1] and in 2010 said he considers Saramago to be "a permanent part of the Western canon".
Other darlings are involved here as well. 71/63 on the internet review site.
If anything serves to make sense of this, and I think much of it is self indulgent, it is the final fate of the twin leading roles.
There are heavy science fiction insertions throughout, notably the soundtrack score. It's debatable whether this serves any purpose other than to pump up interest in an otherwise dry drama.
Still, at the end, my main takeaway was a deep appreciation for the way in which I had been sucker punched.

May 01, 2020

A surreal and eerie experience that has a similar tone to the works of David Lynch. If you have the patience, and the understanding, that this is a movie about fighting your subconscious then this will be a worthwhile watch.

Jan 03, 2020

Does not even deserve a half star. How do movies like this even get made? I am sure that someone thought they were being very very deep and very very artistic in writing this screenplay and making this movie and that they got right down to the depths of the inner workings of the human psyche. Yep. It's deep. Deeply stupid and twisted.

Nov 19, 2018

the main concept was first generated by edgar allan poe, in his short story, WILLIAM WILSON. Dostoevskii wrote a long short story, THE DOUBLE. Otto Rank published a monograph about the DOPPELGANGER: he tied it to moral masochism. just thought you would appreciate an opportunity to take the concept (certainly also a reality of everyday life)to a scholastic level. p.s. Ringo, famous drummer of the Fab Four, had a song early on into his solo career: IT DON'T COME EASY ( not about doppelganger-ism, or moral masochism, but the title suggests the amount of effort needed to take popular entertainment into the scholastic realm). But it is worth it to those who enjoy breaking new ground.

Nov 15, 2018

Absolutely loved it. Some people just don't get it. Denis Villeneuve is pretty damn great!

Aug 26, 2018

Among the top 5 worst movies I ever wasted 90 minutes on, all the time naively waiting for something to happen. Pretentious pap without a shred of meaning. Someone told me once to never buy anything made in Canada with moving parts. This also apparently applies to movies. Nothing there to give a rating.

Apr 26, 2018

Filmed in an appropriately monochromatic Toronto of faded buildings and yellow smog, Denis Villeneuve’s psychosexual phantasm of a film hovers somewhere between the twisted suspense of an older Hitchcock and the mental aberrations of a younger Cronenberg. Shored up by Gyllenhaal’s bravura double performance as history professor Adam Bell and lookalike bit actor Anthony Clare, as well as a worthy supporting cast that includes Isabella Rossellini as Bell’s enigmatic mother, Mélanie Laurent as his frigid girlfriend, and Toronto’s own Sarah Gadon as Clare’s pregnant wife, Javier Gullón’s adaptation of José Saramago’s novel knows just how much to reveal through delicate clues and how much to obscure beneath layers of jarring metaphor—a visit to a strip club resonates with id impulses, spiders make for some startling cameos, and Adam’s class lectures on despots and control wax prophetic. And throughout it all Villeneuve holds the reins with both hands, letting Gyllenhaal stretch his wings (he really does manage to play two different men thanks in part to some clever filming) yet never allowing the situation to spin into absurdity. Bell’s panicky confusion grows proportionally to Clare’s oddly vindictive spite while the two women face an identity crisis of their own leading to a host of closing images that confound even as they illuminate. “Chaos is order yet undeciphered” states the author in an opening quotation, a sentiment Villeneuve takes to heart as he hints and prods but leaves the final codebreaking to his audience.

Jan 14, 2018

One of the weirdest movies I've ever seen. When you have to Google what the ending means, I don't think that's a good thing.

Dec 18, 2017

Wow, I have to say I'm shocked at all the negative feedback on this film. Apologies to those members waiting for the hold request...on the bright side I guess I've been delaying what may be for you an absolutely boring, pointless film experience. Hahaha. x-] I freaking loved this movie, noting that it's always a challenge to portray tedium without being tedious, but I never thought we were drifting into that territory. Jake Gyllenhaal performed brilliantly in duplicate, the slow burn of the unfolding story was nice & cohesive, with some powerful insights into envy, disillusionment, & personal darkness. The ending is totally jarring, & lifts the entire narrative into the realm of folklore almost, comparable to the karmic blowback of Jan Svankmajer's "Conspirators of Pleasure". Definitely worth ignoring the haters on this one...five stars on stage wearing nothing but high heels! CR

View All Comments


Add a Quote
May 01, 2020

"Chaos is order yet undeciphered."

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at Library

To Top