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Enemy

Brilliantly adapted from the late Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago's 2002 novel The Double, the latest from the Academy Award-nominated Denis Villeneuve breathes new life into the doppelgänger tradition, with a hypnotic, haunting, surreal approach that reaffirms the Quebec director as one of our generation's most skilled storytellers.

Adam Bell (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a glum, disheveled history professor, who seems disinterested even in sex with his beautiful girlfriend, Mary (Mélanie Laurent). Watching a movie on the recommendation of a colleague, Adam spots his double, an actor named Anthony Clair, in a bit role, and decides to track him down — an adventure he quite relishes. The identical men meet, and their lives become bizarrely and irrevocably intertwined.

Set amidst the high-rises of Toronto, accented by a palette of muted browns and discordant cello notes, the world of Enemy signals something deeply wrong hiding beneath its glassy, opaque surfaces. Dark dreams creep onto the screen, and as they begin to bleed into reality, the truth becomes even more unknowable.

Gyllenhaal is transfixing as both Adam and Anthony, engendering empathy as well as disapproval while embodying two distinct personas. He is supported by an excellent small cast, including Sarah Gadon as Anthony's pregnant wife. Enemy marks Villeneuve's impressive foray into English-language filmmaking (his US-shot film Prisoners also stars Gyllenhaal). With masterfully controlled attention to detail, Villeneuve takes us on an enigmatic and gripping journey through a world that is both familiar and strange — and hard to shake off long after its final, unnerving image. {c. TIFF}

Ticket price: $9.00, CT accepts cash, credit, and debit.

Running Time: 90 mins

Showtime is 7:15 PM. Let's think about heading to ATC afterwards.

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  • Rhonda

    Interesting and quirky.

    March 31, 2014

  • Shawna

    What an interesting and odd film, and what an ending! A tiny bit of googling on Villeneuve and looking up the famous spider sculpture/s by Louise Bourgeois, I now know what the film is about. In this interview: http://www.nerdist.com/2014/03/interview-director-denis-villeneuve-keeps-his-enemy-close/, Villeneuve says, "The story’s very simple – it’s the story of a man leaving his mistress to go back to his wife." The famous spider sculpture, Maman, in Ottawa: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maman_%28sculpture%29, represents mother and there is also a 2008 documentary film on Bourgeois titled, "The Spider, the Mistress, and the Tangerine".

    1 · March 30, 2014

    • Andy O

      Thanks, Shawna. It just goes to show how utterly helpless we can feel in trying to understand something when we don't begin with even a very simple context. Glad I didn't know that up front - the experience would have been completely different.

      March 30, 2014

  • Andy O

    This movie was a real mind-bender. Still don't know where I land on it, but I appreciate any film that can keep me interested and entertained while pushing the limits of my BS meter. I'll trust (director) Villeneuve's comment (paraphrased?): "Chaos is order that has not yet been deciphered." In the case of this movie, I guess he's saying there really is a meaning and purposeful explanation to the story, but until you figure it out, it will appear to be a random mess. I'm OK with that.
    PS: if you haven't seen Donnie Darko, it's a chance to see a younger Jake Gyllenhall in another eerie role. One of my favorites.

    1 · March 30, 2014

  • Susan

    Sorry we didn't make it to the post movie outing... I really was anxious to talk about this strange movie. I felt compelled when I got home to look up reviews of the movie and the source novel upon which it's based. I found an interesting review in Variety which seems to resonate as a satisfying interpretation for me... http://variety.com/2013/film/reviews/toronto-film-review-jake-gyllenhaal-enemy-1200655619/

    1 · March 30, 2014

  • Shawna

    I'll be wearing a purple shirt, for those who haven't met me. I'm leaning towards Cuban Revolution at American Tobacco Campus for post gathering, about a ten minute walk from the theater.

    March 29, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Don't think I can make it after the change in venue. I hope I'll see some of you during Full Frame though.

    March 28, 2014

  • Kent

    Uncertain after change of venue from Raleigh to Durham.

    March 26, 2014

  • Ben

    Too long of a ride for me

    March 26, 2014

  • Shawna

    Please note the change in venue. We will see Enemy Sat Mar 29 at the Carolina Theatre in Durham.

    March 26, 2014

  • Elizabeth J.

    I'll be sorry to miss this, but a friend just offered me an extra ticket to hear a great jazz/blues singer. I can't turn that down.

    March 23, 2014

  • Rhonda

    Is anyone attending from the Chapel Hill area? I'd like to carpool. Thanks, Rhonda Packer

    March 18, 2014

  • Jacqui

    maybe. sounds wonderfully complex..

    March 16, 2014

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