Damn, here we are in August and I've yet to see but one summer flick at the cinema: Thor, with delish Chris Hemsdale. My list is growing: never made it Bridesmaids; gotta gotta see Chris Evans in Captain America; Crazy, Stupid, Love sounds fantastic with Ryan Gosling (despite weary one-trick pony Steve Carrell)...
But more than any of those, what seems to be the dark horse must-see is Devil's Double, with a breakout performance from Brit actor Dominic Cooper, whom we first discovered as the adorable shirtless boyfriend of Amanda Seyfried in Mamma Mia! and then in a supporting role in the Oscar-nominated An Education.
In Double, Cooper takes a wild ride playing double characters. As Iraqi army lieutenant Latif Yahia, he becomes a de facto member of "the royal family" of Saddam Hussein in 19897 Baghdad, when he’s ordered to become the body double of Saddam's son, the "Black Prince" Uday Hussein, "a reckless, sadistic party-boy with a rabid hunger for sex and brutality." Obviously, madness ensues. Already, there's Oscar buzz for Cooper's performance(s). We'll see how the movie fares at the box office after this weekend's opening.
Above: New York magazine's Aug. 1, 2011 profile, in Mamma Mia! and An Education with Peter Sarsgaard.
Also launching this weekend, which looks potentially entertaining... Rise of the Planet of the Apes, starring James Franco and John Lithgow, said to be neither a sequel nor a prequel. Of course, nobody will ever trump Charlton Heston and Roddy McDowell, but Franco brings intelligence and light to every role he plays... It's certainly a better bet than far-fetched The Change Up, in which Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds reverse bodies and lives. Freaky Friday yet again?