All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
Two bodies. Two minds. One soul.
Twin gynecologists take full advantage of the fact that nobody can tell them apart, until their relationship begins to deteriorate over a woman.
Part of Hoop-Tober
“I think you two have never come to terms with the way it really does work between you.”
Beverly and Elliot Mantle (Jeremy Irons) are brilliant but disturbed, that much is certain. Even as young boys, they showed an understandable fascination with the female reproductive anatomy coupled with a disturbing lack of human emotion. Better to be fish, they theorized—that way they could reproduce without interpersonal contact. Their view of the female body as a laboratory specimen has brought them a successful gynecological practice in Toronto and much acclaim—the Mantle retractor is the industry standard. But their desire to be fish has remained. Their ultramodern office and equally modern high-rise apartment resemble nothing so much as meticulously…
3 months before Ivan Reitman's cuddly comedy Twins, came Cronenberg's Dead Ringers. The immense dark to Arnie's saccharine light.
Within only a handful of scenes, Cronenberg paints raw body images with stark, frank dialogue. There's talk of sex, periods, the uterus, surgery and a mutant cervix. The mood now suitably set for Jeremy Iron's incredible dual role of the identical Mantle twins - to pierce and settle under your skin.
Really, Irons is the focus here. Subtle changes in face and body differentiate the bonded brothers. Easy to tell apart and with a riveting duality, it's an absolute beast of a performance that inevitably puts everything outside of 'them' in a less interesting, less demanding shade.
I'll admit, I lost…
"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
Whenever brothers and the relationship between them is the central focus of a movie, no matter how unrealistic or melodramatic this bond may be portrayed I always find myself actively involved with the story and characters on more than just a mere superficial level. I can relate to these characters as I have a brother and I know how special this connection is.
Jeremy Irons plays identical twins Beverly (Bev) and Elliot (Eli) Mantle, two highly respected gynecologists. They understand each other perfectly and share everything, including their apartment, their job and their women, living vicariously through each other. Eli is the more sociable, casual, confident and aggressive one while Bev is…
Jeremy Irons has palpable sexual chemistry with Jeremy Irons.
Part of the 30 Countries May Challenge. Canada.
This is my third Cronenberg after A History of Violence and The Fly, and it seems I haven't hit upon one of his full-body-horror, crazy shows yet. This is really restrained, feeling like it's patiently building towards some grand finale, with the most vivid image confined to a dream sequence and the disturbing stuff mostly implied than shown (which can still draw squirms-a-plenty though). Appropriate, because it allows the best special effect and most disturbing aspect of the film, Jeremy Irons' performance, to shine fully. Apart from some moments where the twins' minds start melding, there is not much doubt whose personality we're looking at, even though they don't look that different…
I've seen this before, so what popped into my head this time were not necessarily reasons why it's a great film (that should be obvious) but reasons why it isn't quite as masterful as it could otherwise be:
1. Near the end of the film, Elliot and Beverly revert to a childlike state (eating cake with their hands; celebrating their birthday; saying "Mommy"). This doesn't hit as hard as it could have, IMO, because we have no sense of them ever being children or even growing up together--in fact, the one sequence of them as children we're shown is notable for how precocious and adultlike they are.
2. Beverly's personal obsession (the "mutant" women) seems more like something imposed on…
Almost perfect save for a few minor plot niggles. It's easy to see why Croenberg was attracted to this story: given his obsession with the body as other, it's only fitting that he would find the purest distillation of this in a story about a slowly disintegrating relationship between twins.
Living with a twin, and her sister being one of my best friends, this was an entertaining, if not alarming watch! The way in which Irons interacts with himself, makes the whole film. It is by all intents and purposes, a one man show.
The rest of the cast are literal bystanders to the fate that unfolds the twins. This said, the support cast is solid, and don't put a foot wrong, unless you count enabling. But all credit goes to Irons. The powerhouse performance, is a career best in my opinion. The way in which the brothers are quite distinguishable at the start, and how they simply meld into one, whilst reverting to the womb, is astonishing. It is…
Cronenberg at his finest, again. Plus the brilliant Jeremy Irons... TWICE.
What's not to love about this sick, creepy, creeping, ichy, claustrophobic, twisted, rotten, dark black and brilliant film?
The first film of the second phase of Cronenberg's career, where the techniques he used and themes he explored in his early horror films are applied to decidedly non-horror subject matter. This film is a confusing film in that it certainly feels like a horror film, but quite obviously isn't one in any conventional sense. Cronenberg examines themes of sexuality and the descent into abjection that have always been foremost in his work in the context of a character study of twin brothers who seemingly cannot form a whole person on their own. Jeremy Irons is simply incredible in the dual performance as Beverly and Elliot Mantle. You always know precisely which brother you are looking at in every scene, even if they have no dialogue. In fact, I tend to forget I'm even watching a single actor.
"Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
From the opening scene of Dead Ringers - where two young boys discuss sex and reckon it's better to be fish and reproduce without contact - it feels sterile. Cold. Detached. This is a common trait in many Cronenberg movies, but it was especially pronounced here. It even began to feel like Eyes Wide Shut.
Horror is such a personal genre: if audiences don't care about the characters, we'll check out. The fear has to be rooted in something real, something that we can connect to. I cannot, then, explain why Dead Ringers was so successful - it's about as personal and touching as, well, I'd imagine a trip to the gynecologist (the profession…
For five years, film critic Scott Tobias compiled "The New Cult Canon" in a regular column for The A.V. Club…