Another Me is a near miss.

by Nav Qateel

Nothing irks me more than when I’m eagerly awaiting the release of a certain film that boasts a fantastic cast, is being helmed by a strong director, and has an interesting premise, which then turns out to be a rather large letdown, to say the least. And what makes matters worse, is the fact that I can’t blame any one thing in particular for the film’s failure, making my job difficult when it comes to attempting any sort of analysis or critique.

Based on Cathy MacPhail’s young adult novel of the same name, and helmed by Isabel Coixet, the writer-director behind a host of wonderful films, such as Elegy and The Secret Life of Words, comes the psychological thriller Another Me, a film, by all accounts, that was in capable, talented hands.

Fay Delussey (Sophie Turner) is living a very happy life with her parents Don (Rhys Ifans) and Ann (Claire Forlani), who still display their affection for one another. This in turn offers Fay a level of comfort, stability and happiness. Her idyllic family life comes abruptly to an end after Don is suddenly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Within a year, a wheelchair-bound Don is almost helpless, needing a lot of care from Anne, including regular visits to and from the hospital. Don is basically wasting away before their eyes. But there’s a stubbornness about him like he’s not quite ready to give up just yet.

Another Me
Directed by
Isabel Coixet
Sophie Turner, Rhys Ifans, Claire Forlani, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Ivana Baquero, Geraldine Chaplin
Release Date
Nav’s Grade: C-

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Anne has started “going out with the girls” a bit too often but is transparently meeting up with her lover. Fay is very much a daddy’s girl, and she and Don aren’t blind to the situation with Anne. At school, Fay is given the role of Lady Macbeth by her sympathetic drama teacher John Moffat (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), with the part of her stand-in going to an extremely jealous Monica (Charlotte Vega). Monica also bears an uncanny resemblance to Fay. When a doppelganger begins to appear, interfering in her life, Fay tells her mother about it, resulting in a family secret being divulged.

Another Me had a fantastic cast, who were more than capable of holding their own, like the lovely headliner, and Game of Thrones‘ starlet, Sophie Turner, appearing as well as starring in her first movie. Turner is a bankable actor and as well as being extremely easy on the eye, she gave a fine performance as the confused and upset Fay. But while the actress proved to be a strong lead, her character remained rather unlikeable, thanks to the director having her going from one extreme to the other, especially with things like Fay’s behaviour towards her mother. And instead of the audience simply seeing it as a deliberate ploy to make us question her motives and ask who we were actually dealing with; Fay or the doppelganger, it just never paid off.

The talented Rhys Ifans (The Amazing Spider-Man) as dad Don did quite a lot with his rather small role, and out of the entire cast, he and Turner were the only members who didn’t feel out-of-place. The cast felt exactly like what they were; a group of strangers who barely knew one another, working together for the first time. This was especially true of Fay’s school buddies, who failed to gel together as a team. And surprisingly, even with the likes of the excellent Pan’s Labyrinth child star Ivana Baquero playing the best friend Kaylie, or Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Dracula) as Fay’s teacher and Anne’s “friend,” Another Me felt as if it consisted of sets of individual acts, rather than a collection of performances by a group of actors.

Interestingly, a majority of the main cast have been involved in period dramas at one time or another. Currently, Sophie Turner plays Sansa Stark in the hit TV show Game of Thrones. Rhys Ifans played Robert Reston in the Oscar-winning movie Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Claire Forlani played Queen Igraine in the mini-series Camelot. Jonathan Rhys Meyers was King Henry VIII in the popular TV series The Tudors. Even Geraldine Chaplin, who only has a small role here as Mrs. Brennan, the occasionally concerned neighbor, appeared in the series The Hollow Crown. One can actually include Ivana Baquero for Pan’s Labyrinth. This is an indication of the quality the director had to work with and was one of the reasons for me wanting to see this film.

This was quite a risk taken by helmer Coixet that may well have payed off had she taken a different approach, but sadly, she appeared to veer off course. There was always some nice set pieces and stylish touches on display, to remind us we were watching a film by a normally solid director. As I mentioned in my introduction, I find it difficult to point to any one thing and claim that to be the cause of Another Me not working, but at the end of the day, the majority of blame must be placed at the feet of the director herself. Another Me isn’t so bad as to be unwatchable, but unless you’re a serious fan of her work, I’d let this one go.