was one of the stranger films I saw at Sundance. It stars Dominic Cooper (An Education
) in the true story of Latif Yahia, an Iraq soldier who happens to be a dead ringer for the son of Saddam Hussein, Uday. Cooper plays both roles in a breakout performance. The soldier gets pulled into the palace and is forced under threat to his family to become the scion's double. He fixes his teeth and hair and makes public appearances. But he also falls for the wrong girl (Ludivine Sagnier). The movie is compelling, sexy, action-packed and stylishly shot by New Zealander Lee Tamahori (Once Were Warriors
). But it is also overwrought and often silly. I laughed out loud at certain points. And I was not alone.
Lionsgate has landed North American rights to the movie, in partnership with financeer Herrick Entertainment. The distrib also picked up at Sundance, in partnership with Roadside, J.C. Chandor's Margin Call.
Yahia's memoir was adapted for the screen by Michael Thomas (The Hunger) and produced by Corsan’s Paul Breuls and Catherine Vandeleene, with Corrino Media Group’s Michael John Feddun and Stacatto’s Emjay Rechsteiner. Harris Tulchin of Tulchin Entertainment and Arjen Terpstra are exec producers.