Excerpt: The Two Faces of January tells the story of a con artist named Chester Macfarland (Viggo Mortensen) who is in Athens with his wife Colette (Kirstin Dunst) who gets involved in a murder of a private detective. The investigator is there to question Chester about money he stole from investors.
Conclusion: Rarely do I wish that a film were longer, but after watching the deleted scenes for TTFOJ , I found myself wondering whether Amini had been too aggressive in the editing room. He has said that he learned in editing the film that he could tell "almost" the same amount of story in 90 minutes as in two...
Conclusion: Although it could have dug deeper into the characters' needs and wants, as well as the relationship between Mortensen and Isaac, 'The Two Faces of January' is still an enjoyable thriller. The cast is great and delivers on the tension that usually accompanies a tale from Highsmith.
Conclusion: I really dug the throwback thriller aspect and what The Two Faces Of January was going for. It just struggles to maintain interest and begins to drag into the second act. For the most part the film is just really average.
Excerpt: He's penned the adapted screenplays for period romances like The Wings of the Dove and The Four Feathers , as well as the blood-splattered love story Drive . Now, admired screenwriter Hossein Amini adds director to his credentials with The Two Faces of January , a thriller that starts strong, but...
Excerpt: The Two Faces of January , based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith, is a superbly acted and sporadically intriguing thriller, yet it has a difficult time locating more stringent meaning and significance beyond its outward narrative of duplicitous actions and veiled motivations.
Excerpt: The Two Faces of January. Now what does that actually mean? For me, there�s only one face of January. Teeth chittering, red raw nose and bundled up with layers. Thankfully, the setting for the crime thriller is the idyllic islands of Greece.
Conclusion: A handsome, engrossing and classy, if not classic, throwback thriller. Not quite as complex – or ultimately cold-hearted - as author Highsmith’s Ripley tales but it’s an admirable debut for writer-director Hossein Amini with a standout cast, notably Viggo Mortensen and the talented Oscar Isaac.
Pros: Great performances from the three lead actors, Intriguing cat-and-mouse mind games, Glamorous locations and classy filmmaking
Cons: Story a little low-key compared to other Hitchcockian or Highsmith-adapted movies, Dunst’s character a bit neglected