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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.
Partially based on a real-life story of twin gynecologists, David Cronenberg's Dead Ringers is a delirious delve into a psychological relationship between brothers with an inseparable bond. Cronenberg is less interested in the sexual implications of their connection, and invests his film more into the examination of the psychological connection that the two possibly share. Jeremy Irons gives a groundbreaking performance as both of the twins, at times appearing on screen simultaneously, a marvelous feat for its time. Surprisingly, this isn't a film that rides on its gimmick of a dual performance (which I realize isn't as incredible anymore, given the number of double performances we've had since then). This is a mad mix of a body horror in the…
[Originally written on my blog.]
Just wanted to remind myself what a great Cronenberg film looks like before I'm inevitably disappointed by Cosmopolis next month. [MAR 2016: Was a bit less disappointed than expected.] He really brought it all together here—hate to use that awful word "mature" (especially since he quickly regressed), but he genuinely seems more interested in Elliot and Beverly as complex individuals than he does in, say, the gyn(a)ecological instruments for operating on mutant women, which are merely a disturbing symptom of Bev's mental breakdown. Irons' astonishing dual performance, which is so acutely realized that you can immediately tell without any context when you're looking at Elliot posing as Beverly or vice versa (at least until…
"Chang died of a stroke in the middle of the night. He was always the sickly one. He was always the one who drank too much. When Eng woke up beside him to find that his brother was dead... he died of fright. Right there in the bed."
Jeremy Irons is so criminally under appreciated
And without further ado (and much deliberation) Cronenberg's best work.
There are filmmakers whose wavelength you're on, and you love their work. There are filmmakers you totally get, but disagree with their perspectives. There are filmmakers whom you don't get, but their output is really not that interesting anyway. And then, for me, there is David Cronenberg. There may be no other filmmaker whom I'm less in sync with, but whose films contain substance I desperately want to know better.
Dead Ringers is a rather fitting example. It's such an odd movie, and it goes down avenues I don't expect and for reasons I don't understand, but I can also see there's something to it, to dig into. Its focus is narrow -- dedicated to the relationship of two very…
A lovely little film by David Cronenberg. The movie is carried by Jeremy Irons' awesome performance as identical twins. He was fantastic in that role.
Surprisingly more subdued than I was expecting, DEAD RINGERS nevertheless sees David Cronenberg operating at his most psychosexual. The film blends fraternal, romantic and physical love into one uncanny, disturbing but oddly intoxicating tonic, helped in no small part by two exacting performances by Jeremy Irons.
I'm sure to return to this film at some point to appreciate it on its own terms, but mostly what struck me on first viewing was how influential DEAD RINGERS appears to have been on future filmmakers. There's something of Howard Shore's gently unnerving bells and percussion in the soundtrack to GONE GIRL (and Fincher used similar, if more sophisticated, techniques to capture one actor playing twin brothers in THE SOCIAL NETWORK).
Overall Enjoyment 6/10
Is that Beverly? No, that's Elliot right? These questions frequently ran through my head as I watched Dead Ringers for the first time. The first half was a real mindfuck. As the film progressed, the brothers began to show their differing personalities, which made it easier to tell them apart... I think.
Jeremy Irons is fantastic. Being able to perform well in a single role is one thing, but to play two characters in the same film and give a great performance, is nothing short of amazing.
Estoy tan contento de que finalmente me decidí a ver ésta película, me pareció fabulosa de principio a fin; Jeremy Irons es un actor excepcional y saber que esta dando vida, no a uno si no a dos personajes al mismo tiempo, que parecieran ser iguales pero que son completamente opuestos, es impresionante. Un par de años después, se llevaría el Oscar y el Golden Globe a mejor actor y no me extraña, ya venía haciéndolo de manera excelente.
Visualmente, me atrajo mucho la atención el diseño de producción, y el resalte del rojo es grandioso entre los interiores fríos y grises (me recordó a lo que hizo después en 'Crash') que manera de hacer contraste; y la fotografía que…
All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1177. An easy way of seeing how…