THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY (2014)

two faces january pic

Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, Oscar Isaac, Daisy Bevan, David Warshofsky

Directed by: Hossein Amini

Synopsis: A thriller centered on a con artist, his wife, and a stranger who flee Athens after one of them is caught up in the death of a private detective.

A period drama, sort of a cross between Mad Men and, I don’t know, Catch Me if You Can? A lot of it is style of substance but the film is far from a total wash out. It’s enjoyable for the most part at least, although the ending is a bit of a let down.

The story revolves around three mysterious people in Greece, in the sixties. Two of these three people are Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst, who play a couple on holiday. They get ‘taken in’ by a local schemer, played by Oscar Isaac. Except they too have a bit of a checkered past as well, meaning you are never too sure who it is in danger.

First off, the film has a really classy vibe to it, due to the beautiful setting and the clothes and characters behaviours and backgrounds. As I mentioned, it is much like Mad Men in this regard, and if you like that kind of thing it certainly pulls you into this story. The second positive is the performances of the lead actors, who were all good. Oscar Isaac is proving that he is a real up and comer, and Mortensen and Dunst show why they are tried, tested and trusted at this level.

It was, for the most part, an intriguing, suspenseful story that kept it’s card’s close enough to it’s chest until, as usual the more melodramatic side of things exposed itself in the last act. I wouldn’t say it was a huge let down because let’s face it, most endings served up nowadays aren’t great, but I thought this one may have been different because it didn’t seem like a big budget studio movie.

The director is Hossein Amini, who’s previous work includes writing the script for Drive, but this is his first crack at directing, and I have to say he does a decent enough job. The film is solid without ever being spectacular,¬†certainly nowhere near Drive in terms of invention or cool, but it does have a certain charm to it. It’s the kind of film that you can imagine being made back in the decade it is set.

Good to look at, but won’t leave a lasting impression.

3 clappers

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About thomasjford

I like Movies and Music and most things popular culture.

4 comments

  1. The cast made this one so worth watching, even when the plot did get a little nuts at times. Good review.

  2. giorge thomas

    So, you know how I’ve told you before about having an irrational hatred for Steve Coogan, well, the female version of that is Kirsten Dunst. I can’t stand her! The woman has ruined many a film for me and it is at the point now where I simply can’t watch a movie she’s in. Let’s just hope she never does a film with Michael Fassbender, Emily Blunt, Christian Bale or Ralph Fiennes.

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