Set in 1952 as Great Britain prepares for the coronation, The Scapegoat tells the provocative story of two very different men who have one thing in common – a face.
John Standing teaches Greek in a shabby prep school. Or at least he did until yesterday. With his department unceremoniously downsized, John decides to explore the continent in search of culture, adventure, or anything that might take him away from the crushing monotony of his life.
It is said that everybody has a doppelgänger somewhere in the world. Held up changing trains, John goes to a bar – whereupon he spots Johnny and feels a bolt of electricity. Johnny is his mirror image; the likeness is uncanny. But while John is in search of human connection, aristocratic landowner Johnny craves an escape from his responsibilities. The two men spend the night in the same hotel. But when John awakens the next morning, Johnny is nowhere to be found and his driver wants to take John “home.” Some deep impulse responds to the crack of opportunity, and John literally steps into his double’s shoes.
John suddenly finds himself responsible for a beautiful young wife, two mistresses, a morphine abusing mother, a precocious daughter, a crumbling stately home and a nearly bankrupt business. Despite his efforts to escape, he finds himself irresistibly drawn into Johnny’s life – with fatal consequences.
The Scapegoat is a morally complex, darkly comic and suspenseful film featuring a star turn from Matthew Rhys in the double role of John and Johnny, as well as compelling performances from the ensemble cast.