A Different Man 2024

Directed by Aaron Schimberg Portraits

Aaron Schimberg’s darkly comic feature from indie powerhouse A24 sees a man with facial tumours make a Faustian pact to change his appearance, only to discover good looks can’t buy happiness.

Aug 09

Hollywood Avondale

Aug 13

The Civic

USA In English
112 minutes Colour / DCP
M
Violence, offensive language, sex scenes, nudity, suicide & content that may disturb

Director, Screenplay

Producers

Christine Vachon, Vanessa McDonnell, Gabriel Mayers

Cinematography

Wyatt Garfield

Editor

Taylor Levy

Production Designer

Anna Kathleen

Costume Designer

Stacey Berman

Music

Umberto Smerilli

Cast

Sebastian Stan, Renate Reinsve, Adam Pearson, Owen Kline

Festivals

Sundance, Berlin, New Directors/New Films, Sydney 2024

Awards

Best Leading Performance (Sebastian Stan), Berlin International Film Festival 2024

Elsewhere

Aspiring actor Edward has been living a life of seclusion when playwright Ingrid moves in next door. Edward falls for Ingrid, who, of course, is way out of his league – it's a classic New York rom-com, right?  

Things begin to take a turn when Edward learns of a drug trial that may reverse the effects of his neurofibromatosis, a rare genetic condition that causes excess body tissue to grow, predominantly on his face. Dreaming of a new life, an aspiration of becoming someone he imagines to be “normal”, he jumps at the opportunity. Following nights of anguish as Edward’s tumours peel from his face like bubble-gum, he emerges completely unrecognisable, anonymous, a man transformed. 

With his newfound freedom, Edward can slip in amongst the crowd, stumbling into a drunken sexual encounter with a stranger, testing the limits of his new identity. While his new looks give him a brief bout of confidence, the shine soon wears off as old habits prove to die hard. 

In a cast boasting festival favourite Renate Reinsve (The Worst Person in the World, 2021; Armand, NZIFF 2024) and Marvel man Sebastian Stan, it’s Adam Pearson (himself born with neurofibromatosis) as Oswald who steals the show in a third act cameo that proves to be the tipping point for Edward’s spiralling mental state. Oswald might resemble Edward’s pre-procedure physical form, but he’s otherwise the polar opposite: confident, braggadocios, nauseatingly full of charm. 

Deliciously discomforting and full of awkward provocations, director Aaron Schimberg never shies away from holding a mirror to our own internal prejudices in this deeply twisted, nightmarish satire. — Matt Bloomfield

"Aaron Schimberg's A Different Man throws away the kid gloves to unpack the complicated ways in which contemporary society responds to disability." — Marshall Shaffer, Slant Magazine