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New Release Review - ANOTHER ME

A teenage girl finds herself haunted by her doppelganger.


Review by Benjamin Poole (@filmclubchs)

Directed by: Isabel Coixet

Starring: Sophie Turner, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Gregg Sulkin, Claire Forlani, Rhys Ifans, Geraldine Chaplin




"Isabel Coixet’s psychological thriller does nothing especially new, but executes its entertaining premise with plenty of panache and intrigue. Sophie Turner is superb, imbuing her besieged but never broken character with a radiant determination."





‘By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes’, so Macbeth’s ominous couplet appositely runs for Another Me’s haunted heroine Fay. She’s won the enviable part of Lady Macbeth in the school play, but is this accomplishment due to her talent, or simply because her guilty drama teacher is secretly knocking off Fay’s mum, a situation engendered by the degenerative illness of Fay’s father? As her family struggles to cope, stranger things begin to happen to Fay; a doppelganger seems to follow her, first only seen in glimpses, but then filling in for stage rehearsals when Fay can’t make it, and getting off with local lads from the estate behind her back. It’s not thumbs which are pricked, but deep gouges torn across the back of Fay’s hand, as the poor girl harms herself attempting to make sense of her own sanity and an increasingly wicked reality.
Isabel Coixet’s psychological thriller (adapted from the novel by Cathy MacPhail, who co scripts), does nothing especially new, but executes its entertaining premise with plenty of panache and intrigue. Veteran Coixet places her faith in her cast, building strong and affecting performances which are believable, and also relatable, selling the ‘all the feels’ emotive drama of this YA adaption. It’s the sort of teen orientated film where adults are unknowable and untrustworthy, irresponsibly harbouring secrets for which their kids pay the destructive price, whilst school life is itself a treacherous territory fraught with hierarchies and social cruelties.Another Me is filmed with a sharp European eye for arresting details; among the expected teen iconography of hoodies, laptops and photographs, there abides adumbrate images of birds in cages and swaying empty swings, and DoP Jean-Claude Larrieu’s visual presentation of the film is a striking interplay between shadow and light (candles, Christmas decorations), exemplifying the black and white escalations of adolescent sensation.
Playing Fay (and, of course, her ghostly twin), Sophie Turner is superb, imbuing her besieged but never broken character with a radiant determination (Turner has been cast as Jean Grey in the next X-Men flick; with her auburn hair and clear intelligence, this is perfect casting), while, amongst the adult players, Rhys Ifans brings pathos to his role as the multiple sclerosis afflicted father, and even Jonathan Rhys Meyers puts in a good showing as the fit but feckless teacher. To emphasise this strong character work,
However, for a film predicated upon the promise of a threatening doppelgänger, and predominantly aimed towards the discernment of teenage girls (an astute audience for scary, psychological horror), Another Me is never quite spooky enough. There’s the obligatory dash through after hours school corridors (a convention, sure, but empty schools are irresistibly, tirelessly weird) , and the occasional, deliciously creepy, hint of an inexplicable extra shadow cast next to Fay, but the film should have benefitted from a few more eerie moments such as these to give its soupy melodrama a more horrorific flavour.
This weekend, Another Me received its premiere at FrightFest, and it’s quite possible that its low key quality could render it overlooked among the hurly burly of the Aaaaaaaah!s and Nina Forevers. That would be a shame though, as Another Me is an atmospheric and affecting addition to the doppelgänger subgenre (with this last year seeing Enemy and The Double), and will, in measure, time and place, in keeping with its theme of an outsider finding a rightful place within the world, determine its natural home as a late night, sleepover staple.

Another Me is out on Digital HD now




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