Dead Ringers | Chicago Reader

Dead Ringers

David Cronenberg's finely tuned psychological thriller (1988) explores the complex lives of two gynecologists, identical twins (both played by Jeremy Irons) who share everything from their lovers to their successful fertility clinic. Their close mutual ties become challenged when both are attracted to the same actress (Genevieve Bujold). A tour de force—especially for Irons, whose sense of nuance is so refined that one can tell almost immediately which twin he is in a particular scene—and the special effects involving both twins simultaneously are so well-handled that one quickly forgets about the underlying illusion. But the sheer unpleasantness of the plot, inspired by a real-life case, guarantees that this isn't a film for everyone, and people like myself who find the character played by Bujold (in one of her best performances) more interesting than either of the twins are bound to feel rather frustrated by the end.

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