The Double Preview plus Satellite Q&A with Richard Ayoade Cert. 15 Picture house at FACT

  • Released2014
  • Running time93 minutes
  • DirectorRichard Ayoade
  • GenreDrama, Comedy, American Independent
  • CastNoah Taylor, Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska

Impressively besting his idiosyncratic directorial debut, SUBMARINE, and his comic role in TV’s The IT Crowd, Richard Ayoade’s second feature melds ominous Kafkaesque vulnerability with the dark humour of Terry Gilliam’s BRAZIL.

Jesse Eisenberg, in his most accomplished outing since THE SOCIAL NETWORK, plays meek office drone Simon James, alternately berated and ignored by his boss, Mr Papadopoulos (Shawn, creepily magnificent), and taunted by Hannah (Wasikowska), the indifferent co-worker he lusts after.

When a spry new recruit – called James Simon and his exact doppelgänger (Eisenberg again, obviously) – joins the company, despite ignoring his job description, he quickly oils his way into Mr Papadopoulos’s favour and Hannah’s embrace.

Simon’s confusion and desperation for whatever it is that makes James succeed where he fails is the film’s glorious, wincingly sardonic conceit.

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