April 24, 2023

CABLE | Rachel Weisz Doubles 'Dead Ringers' on Prime Video

"We're as close to perfection as you can get in this field."
Rachel Weisz Alice Birch | Dead Ringers | Amazon Prime Video
Amazon Studios / Annapurna Television
British playwright Alice Birch reworks David Cronenberg's eerie 1988 Canadian psychological thriller Dead Ringers—in turn based on Bari Wood and Jack Geasland's 1977 novel Twins—into a haunting, gender-swapped contemporary series. Rachel Weisz stars as self-destructive identical twin sister gynecologists, Elliot and Beverly (originally portrayed by Jeremy Irons), who maintain a rather unusually close but antagonistic relationship.

Produced and primarily directed by filmmaker Sean Durkin, the series offers a stark, icy vision of female medical treatment apart from Cronenberg's trademark body horror. Weisz gives two separate wonderfully delicious performances worth investing in all six episodes alone as she effortlessly acts against herself (and stand-in Kitty Hawthorne) as her own co-lead. It's really something to witness.

Set in a sterile Manhattan hospital's maternity ward, the series shows how distressing and dehumanizing healthcare truly is, especially the act of childbirth for women seeking care. Furthermore, it explores the duality of powerful women as both hardened professionals and caring maternal figures. So many interesting modern ideas are explored through its twisted psychological drama anchored by a strangely isolating tone.

This Dead Ringers is a deeply unsettling yet intimate look into the graphic brutality of birth and (in)fertility as real-life horrors of reproductivity. Birch creates her own distinctly stylish portrait of just how frightening healthcare for pregnant women can be. The miniseries pushes Weisz to the limit (times two) in dual towering portrayals of carefully quiet menace.

Dead Ringers' six-episode season is available to stream on Amazon Prime Video.

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