19 June 2014 10:00 AM, PDT | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

Winter of Our Discontent: Amini’s Problem with Narrative Pabulum

Few crime writers can boast such a weighty lineage of cinematic adaptation as that of Patricia Highsmith, probably falling somewhere between Agatha Christie and Ruth Rendell, if one were to measure. Wim Wenders, Rene Clement, Anthony Minghella and Liliana Cavani have all reincarnated her most celebrated character, Tom Ripley, to the big screen, while Hitchcock, Michel Deville, Claude Chabrol (and later this year, Todd Haynes) have adapted some of her signature titles. And so, it is with great regard that screenwriter Hossein Amini arrives with his directorial debut, The Two Faces of January, a promise of scrappy ne’er-do-wells conning each other for money or guilty pleasures of the carnal sort, performed by a trio of renowned actors that rival Minghella’s starry line-up of The Talented Mr. Ripley. And yet, there’s something unnervingly stale about the whole endeavor, »

- Nicholas Bell

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