This week in Thursday Movie Picks – run by Wandering through the Shelves – we’ve been asked to list three to five films that feature fake identity. I found this a tricky theme, as there are many more films that focus on mistaken identity instead, so may have strayed from the brief slightly.
If you haven’t seen some of these films, expect spoilers!
A major theme of this dystopian science fiction film is genetic discrimination: what you have the ability to become in life is determined by your genetics. Ethan Hawke’s protagonist is classed as genetically inferior (an ‘invalid’) so assumes the identity of Jude Law’s genetically perfect (‘valid’) but wheelchair-bound character in order to fulfil his dream of travelling to space.
Catch Me If You Can (2002)
This film sees Leonardo DiCaprio in one of his most charming roles. Based on the true story of Frank Abagnale Jr, DiCaprio assumes several identities in the mid 1960s – including a pilot and a doctor – in order to con his way into receiving millions of dollars. It features an all-star cast including Tom Hanks and Christopher Walken.
The Devil’s Double (2011)
My final choice sees Dominic Cooper in a dual role. Cooper portrays Uday Hussein (eldest child of Saddam Hussein and a truly despicable, abhorrent person) and his body double, Latif Yahia. It’s an uncomfortable watch, as it brings to the screen real life events that Uday was claimed to have carried out. Cooper excels in both roles.