A Different Man
A Different Man
A Different Man

A Different Man

Dir. Aaron Schimberg / 2024 / 112 mins / USA / English / Australian Premiere

Sebastian Stan (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) plays a wannabe actor who learns that confidence isn’t skin-deep in this deliciously twisted morality tale.

Holed up in his Manhattan flat, aspiring actor Edward (Stan), who lives with neurofibromatosis, is contemplating ending it all – until he finds out his facial tumours can be removed by way of a nightmarish experimental treatment. Now armed with conventional good looks, he assumes a new identity and auditions with gusto … only to learn that his neighbour Ingrid (Renate Reinsve, The Worst Person in the World, MIFF 2021) has written an off-Broadway play about his old life and that he must compete with the infinitely more charismatic Oswald (Adam Pearson, Chained for Life), who also has neurofibromatosis, for centre stage.

Channelling David Cronenberg, David Lynch and Ari Kaurismäki in his film’s blend of body-horror, dark comedy and surrealism, indie auteur Aaron Schimberg shrewdly takes a scalpel to misplaced ambition and the superficiality of modern society. Stan, who won the Berlinale’s Silver Bear for Best Leading Performance, is endearing as a floundering dreamer who wishes he were somebody else, while Reinsve and Pearson are equally magnetic in this A24-backed title that deviously asks the viewer to take a long, hard look at themselves.

“A caustically funny cosmic joke of a film … Schimberg’s ruthless and Escher-like A Different Man might have felt cruel if not for how cleverly it complicates its punchline.”– IndieWire