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ENEMY directed by Denis Villeneuve, written by.
ENEMY directed by Denis Villeneuve, written by Javier Gullón from the novel by José Saramago, with Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent and Sarah Gadon. An eOne release. 90 minutes. Opens Friday (March 14). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NNNN
Enemy, which captures Toronto with a wary outsider’s eye, is the best Hogtown movie since David Cronenberg’s Crash.
Like that film, Enemy establishes T.O. as a glass-and-steel cocoon where people are so alienated from themselves (and each other) that they don’t even know who they are. It’s a place where a frumpy history prof (Jake Gyllenhaal) and a motorcycle-riding wannabe actor (also Gyllenhaal) are entirely interchangeable.
The lurid pleasures of director Denis Villeneuve’s identity-crisis mindfuck – a recurring tarantula motif, intimations of a members-only sex club in a condo basement and a strange cameo by Isabella Rossellini as an overbearing mother force-feeding her kid blueberries – are entirely trifling.
But they’re executed with such giddy, nasty aplomb that it’s impossible not to savour them.
And Gyllenhaal is terrific. Twice.