Entertainment Weekly

Subscribe

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content
Emmys 2017
Every unforgettable moment, every gorgeous dress.Click here

Article

The Double

Posted on

The Double

type:
Movie
Current Status:
In Season
mpaa:
PG-13
runtime:
98 minutes
Limited Release Date:
10/28/11
performer:
Richard Gere, Topher Grace
distributor:
Image Entertainment
genre:
Drama

We gave it an A-

The 82-year-old Portuguese Nobel winner crafts his latest novel, The Double, around ”this extraordinary, singular, astonishing, and never-before-seen case of the duplicate man.” One lonely night, depressed history teacher Tertuliano Maximo Afonso pops a stupid B movie into the VCR and is shaken to find his exact physical double — identical, he later learns, down to the fingerprint — playing the bit part of a hotel clerk. Don’t be daunted by JoséSaramago’s famous 18-page paragraphs and page-long sentences. Oh, all right, be a little daunted. But that garrulous omniscient narrator — droll, delightful, persnickety, philosophical, always second-guessing — actually steals the book from the story’s two carbon-copy protagonists. Saramago might’ve dug deeper into the premise than he ultimately does, but a last little twist, delivered in a final paragraph of a mere two pages, is delicious.