#106: Dead Ringers

Dead Ringers (1988) — Dir. David Cronenberg

Part of the Top 150 Films series

For all of its talk of trifurcated cervices, mutant women and metallurgical gynaecological instruments, it’s amazing how relatable the feelings and emotions of Dead Ringers are for its audience. Jeremy Irons’ masterful use of the Alexander technique results in twin performances for the ages as Elliot and Beverly Mantle: identical twin gynaecologists who jointly operate a highly successful clinical practice specialising in treating female fertility issues. It’s immediately apparent when Irons is inhabiting the more brash and confident Elliot, and when he’s portraying the shy and passive Beverly, which makes the melding of… well, everything, all the more astonishing in its coherence. Geneviève Bujold manages not only to hold her own against this acting extravaganza but develop a complex role above that of stereotypical ‘love interest’, all to common in films such as this. But are there any other ‘films such as this’? Even for Cronenberg, this is something else!