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Three Identical Strangers - Rounding up the Usual Suspects
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steve98052
steve98052
Three Identical Strangers
SIFF's capsule summary: "In an unbelievable true story that became a tabloid sensation, three college students in 1980 discovered that they were identical triplets separated at birth, but their joyous media-friendly reunion also unearthed a secret experimental program as nefarious as the plot of a conspiracy thriller.
    "Whether it's tears of laughter or tears of joy, director Tim Wardle tells an extremely thought-provoking story about three brothers, Bobby, Eddy and David, who discovered they were identical triplets at 19 years old."   Eric Kohn. </i>Indie Wire</i>" (US, 2018, 000 minutes)
SIFF link: Three Identical Strangers

In 1980, one of the three triplets goes to an upstate New York university. Although it's his first time there, everyone greets him as if they knew him. One guy he meets asks whether he was adopted – yes – and whether his birthday was a certain date in 1961 – yes. The guy says, "You have a twin brother." Soon the twins meet. And when their story hits the news, they discover that there is a third brother; they're identical triplets. They celebrate. They become media sensations. But things get complicated.

The problem, however, is that I am unable to think of a way to describe just how things get complicated without heavy-duty spoilers – the kind of spoilers that would really anger my readers, if I still have any readers. See the movie.

9 Excellent This film presents its story with more dramatic tension than most narrative films. The drama just keeps ramping up. The production values are excellent. There's a lot of good archival material in the film, and where archival material is unavailable, they have well-made reenactments, which have a solid feeling of realism, but are clearly-enough reenactments that they aren't going to be mistaken for archival material. There are also quite a few interviews, all with clear audio and video, and good content.

Overall, I rate the film excellent. Had I seen it during SIFF, it would have been near the top of my list of documentaries.

Languages: English.

Screening: 7 pm, AMC Seattle 10 (screen 9) – formerly the Sundance, and earlier still the Metro.
Audience: full house, 48 seats.
This was our first visit to the theater since it changed from a Sundance theater to AMC. It's still pretty nice.

Snacks: none.

Ads and announcements:

  • Lots of ads with the sound mercifully turned down low enough that they didn't command my attention.
  • Diet Coke — Boring ad.
  • AMC A List — Boring ad for AMC's new movie subscription program, which sounds pretty good for people who don't already have a SIFF Cinema pass.
  • The Little Stranger — This haunted house film looks more interesting than a typical horror film, in part because it's by the director of the fantastic film Room, which is not to be confused with the infamous The Room. (My own review is currently a dead link.)
  • Puzzle — This film is about a middle aged woman who finds joy in life when she discovers that there is such a thing as competitive jigsaw puzzle assembly.
  • Juliet, Naked — This film, based on a Nick Hornby novel, is about a guy who is an obsessive fan of a musician, his girlfriend, and the musician himself. Looks like fun, but I doubt it will match High Fidelity.
  • Can You Ever Forgive Me?" — A washed-up author of upbeat biographies finds a new career: forging literary correspondence.
  • A Star Is Born — I'm not sure whether this is a remake of the 1937, 1954, or 1976 A Star Is Born. But I'm not particularly interested in seeing it.
  • Monsters and Men — This movie about police shooting a black man looks like a melodrama, at least based on the preview.
  • AMC — An assortment of self-promotion, apparently without the usual "turn off your gadgets" request. </ii>

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