Villeneuve’s ‘An Enemy’ locks international cast

Will Perkins
Wide Screen

Quebec filmmaker Denis Villeneuve ("Polytechnique") made waves a few years ago with his dark family drama "Incendies." Numerous awards and nominations, including a boatload of Genies and a Best Foreign Language Film nom at the Oscars, raised Villeneuve's profile on the world stage immensely.

It's that heightened profile that has helped Villeneuve assemble an impressive international cast for his English-language debut, the erotic thriller "An Enemy." The ominously titled film is headlined by Jake Gyllenhaal ("Source Code") and co-stars "Inglourious Basterds'" Mélanie Laurent, frequent David Cronenberg collaborator and Toronto native Sarah Gadon ("A Dangerous Method"), and cinematic muse Isabella Rossellini ("Blue Velvet") -- not a bad lineup for a "lowly" Canada-Spain co-production.

The film, which begins shooting in Toronto next week, tells the story of Adam, a man on a quest to find his exact double after seeing the doppelganger in a movie. Based on the José Saramago novel "The Double," Gyllenhaal will play Adam and his identical counterpart. Laurent is set to play Adam's girlfriend and Gadon the wife of the lookalike. It is unknown what role Rossellini will play, but given her track record, she's sure to be portraying a mysterious and alluring figure of some kind. Rossellini is a talented actress who tends to get typecast in those type of roles, most recently in Canadian director Guy Maddin's oddball odyssey "Keyhole."

An intriguing hook and a stellar cast is a very good start for "An Enemy," so this is a film to look out for. Thanks to his previous work, director Villeneuve has quickly become one of Canada's most talked about filmmakers. The director has consistently taken risks in his previous movies, ensuring that even if "An Enemy" isn't great, it's still sure to be interesting. If this English language transition is success, it likely won't be too long until Hollywood starts calling.

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