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…
Suggested by Blain Granado - One Week to Watch Callenge
I've often thought that there should be beauty contests for the *insides* of bodies.
- Elliot Mantle
I'm sure many of you will have watched a film and loved it thoroughly, but when it came to review it you found yourself plagued with some sort of mental block. I'm afraid that is how I am feeling right now. It's starting to get quite late now and I must watch another film in a moment so that I can finally complete a challenge I've set myself. When I started the challenge I worried that watching so many films in such a short space of time might lower my appreciation/enjoyment of the…
"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 don't think I was alert/awake enough for this movie to effect me as much as it should have so I can't properly rate it but I'll revisit this one soon.
I have to remember not to eat dinner during a Cronenberg film.
What struck me on re-watch was the comedy. Like the look on Ellis face when his brother Beverly says “There’s nothing the matter with the instrument, its the body. The woman’s body was all wrong” The camera pans right to left from Beverly to Eli for an Oliver Hardy type reaction shot, Hardy’s said “Im with stupid” this one says “Im with crazy.”
The secretary walking in on Beverly shooting up made me laugh out loud, or Elli's girlfriend turning off the tv as he's watching "Lifestyles of the rich and famous", -“What did you do that for thats my favorite fucking program”; Jeremy Irons delivers the line perfectly, like a petulant little child. In addition to the ending pathos, psychological unease and mood of glacial alienation (aided by the ice blue cinematography and set design), its also at times darkly hilarious.
killer movie, jeremy irons is the man. there are only a couple of typical cronenberg moments in this but the majority is played pretty straight. even though the twins are monsters, the ending is still fairly heartbreaking. if you had sex with your identical twin, is it considered masturbation?
In a lot of ways, Dead Ringers feels akin to David Cronenberg's recent, coldly cerebral efforts like Cosmopolis or A Dangerous Method while retaining similar themes to his more overtly horrific work like The Fly.
Time has been kind to a film that was perhaps under-appreciated at the time. The at-the-time groundbreaking effects that depicted Jeremy Irons twins onscreen at once still look absolutely seamless. Irons has never been better with a performance of astonishing subtlety that gets across the symbiotic/parasitic relationship of the Mantle twins while establishing them as different personalities in their own right.
It's a simple story that lets the weighty themes come through in the execution. The restrained storytelling and clinical feel makes the odd flash…
Dead Ringers grows as time goes by. After an initial viewing, it has the marks of Cronenberg to be sure, but it feels almost trite and obtusely psychological after the horrific body modifications of Videodrome (1983) and The Fly (1986). With time, though, Dead Ringers reveals itself as a thoroughly fleshed-out vision of love and tragedy.
The thematic and stylistic consistency that Cronenberg has shown throughout his career make it particularly difficult not to constantly compare and contrast his works and "find" their functions in his oeuvre. Auteurism remains, perhaps not intact, but certainly alive in one form or another. Dead Ringers is a practical minefield of tropes and themes that define Cronenberg as a filmmaker. The premise of two…
From my old Netflix reviews:
This is easily Cronenberg's unqualified masterpiece. The complex and ridiculously seamless performance orchestrated by Jeremy Irons is one of the most brilliant I've ever seen. Beverly and Elliot's symbiotic, narcissistic and homoerotic relationship drives the film and it's hard to tell in the end where one ends and the other begins. The "intrusion" of Genevieve Bujold's character causes a sort of separation anxiety between the twins and thus begins their downward spiral into delusion and madness. David Cronenberg creates some truly memorable scenes with less than the usual amount of gore he's regularly known for and it works perfectly here. Repulsion, revulsion and a sickening sense of dread pervade the events unfolding on the screen, yet I could not turn away. Can two people share the same essence of being? Jeremy Irons and David Cronenberg make it seem frightfully so.
Dead Ringers is all about Jeremy Irons and his two very profound and very distinct performances. Without even being told via name which character is on screen, the viewer can identify whether or not it is Beverly or Elliot through only posture and the manner of Irons' face. Cronenberg also uses some very sneaky camera choices and editing along with a select number of nice composite tracking shots to help sell the twins without it ever coming across as one actor acting with a stand-in. Overall, it makes for an extremely believable portrayal of twins tumbling towards a downward spiral.
That downward spiral is something Cronenberg handles with great care. Dead Ringers is a drama before anything else, but Cronenberg's patented twisted darkness makes a few powerful appearances. The creepiest and the least brutal being the ritualistic red robes used in the brother's clinic during surgery and the most painful being the final proceeder at the bottom of the spiral.
A transitional film for Cronenberg, where he keeps with the bodily rebellion themes but it's more talked about than seen, at least in visceral form; his movie before this were generally visceral and a little cerebral, and afterward (for a while, anyway) they were the other way around. Aside from the twin business and some fleetingly wild prop and costume design, it's in large part an increasingly depressing (and not all in the right ways) skid to the bottom of drug addiction.
Irons splendidly embodies two very distinct characters, but one's just much more interesting than the other. Elliot is confident, worldly, at one point is compared to Dracula, but basically has his shit together, aside from a deeply uncool…
- A Trip to the Moon
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- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
- Donnie Darko
- Morvern Callar
- Irma Vep
- Miami Blues
- Babe: Pig in the City
For five years, film critic Scott Tobias compiled "The New Cult Canon" in a regular column for The A.V. Club…
- Citizen Kane
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- Tokyo Story
- The Rules of the Game