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Enemy (2014) good movie
Canada/Spain, 90 min, Rated 14A (ON) 13+ (QC)
Reviewed 03/14, © Stephen Bourne, moviequips.ca
www.ofrb.gov.on.ca | www.rcq.gouv.qc.ca

Denis Villeneuve - Director
Javier Gullón - Screenplay
Nicolas Bolduc - Cinematography


"Adam Bell is 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 Clair, and decides to track him down. The identical men meet and their lives become bizarrely and irrevocably intertwined." - enemy-movie.com


Famed Québec-born film director Denis Villeneuve's intriguing new psychological brain mulcher pits visibly deflated, Torontonian university history professor Adam Bell at odds with aspiring Hogtown movie actor Anthony Clair, after Adam discovers he and Anthony look exactly alike and he tries to find out why. The reason why seems pretty obvious: both characters are played by Jake Gyllenhaal. The credits say so. No spoilers there. Enemy co-stars Mélanie Laurent and Sarah Gadon, as Adam's girlfriend Mary, and Anthony's pregnant wife Helen.

The film Enemy is based on Nobel Prize-winning Portuguese author José de Sousa Saramago's (1922-2010) 2002 novel, O Homem Duplicado, published in English as The Double in 2004. This is the second big screen Canadian co-production adapted from a Saramago book, after Blindness (2008). Enemy received the most nominations at the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television's 2014 Canadian Screen Awards, winning Toronto's Sarah Gadon Best Supporting Actress and Villeneuve his fourth Best Achievement in Direction. The film also won Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and Best Original Score awards from the Academy. It's safe to say this flick's been a fairly big deal long before its public theatrical release.

It deserves to be a big deal.

Enemy is an eerily disturbing and utterly fascinating cinematic masterpiece. From its intense undercurrent of impending doom to its sickly, life-drained landscape, this is one of the most exquisite thrillers I've seen in years. It's not an easy one to watch, though. Apart from the film's steady stream of misogynistic imagery, it demands that a paying audience interprets what unfolds without much guidance. Here be dream sequences and visual metaphors, all mysterious and thinky. Is this a linear story or not? It's definitely literate, but how much is literal? Is Gyllenhaal really portraying two people? Are all of the characters real within this movie's world? Are some of them imagined? Are they memories? Re-imagined memories? What's with that big giant spider?! Javier Gullón's wonderfully coy screenplay poses many questions regarding who Gyllenhaal's Adam and Anthony are and what happens to them here. The best part is that the script's intellectual prowess remains consistent 'til the closing credits, dropping sly hints and subtle clues throughout, and presenting a final scene so incredibly bizarre that you can't help but want to sit through the entire picture again. Enemy lives with you long after leaving the movie theatre. (Read more)

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