16 items from 2014
Continuing in the tradition of Patricia Highsmith’s set of globetrotters and vacationing daytrippers who dip their toes not only in foreign backdrops, but in tend to find themselves in the most inconvenient of situations, it is the American novelist’s 1964 novel that finds a suitor in British-Iranian writer (and now turned director in his own right) Hossein Amini.
Working with players such as Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Isaac and Kirsten Dunst, Amini, whose long list of creds include Michael Winterbottom’s Jude, Iain Softley’s The Wings of the Dove, Shekar Kapur’s The Four Feathers, Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive and the upcoming Our Kind of Traitor, takes a stab at the thriller-genre with the sun-drenched Greece and Turkey as the conniving backdrop with The Two Faces of January, which opened August 28th and is still running in its limited engagement. Here is my interview with Amini which took »
- Yama Rahimi
Why bother going out to the multiplex when the movies you want to see are on Netflix? Whether it's a classic weepie like "An Affair to Remember," an Audrey Hepburn movie, a Jane Austen favorite or "Clueless" (again), here are some of the best chick flicks streaming on Netflix right now. (Availability subject to change.)
1. "13 Going on 30" (2004)
Who doesn't love a good time-traveling romantic comedy, especially one with a big "Thriller" dance showstopper?
2. "An Affair to Remember" (1957)
3. "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (1961)
4. "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" (2004)
The sequel finds Bridget (Renee Zellweger) in Thailand, where she's tempted to stray with ex »
- Sharon Knolle
Let's break the first rule of "Fight Club" and talk about "Fight Club." In fact, people haven't stopped talking about it since it was released 15 years ago this week, on October 15, 1999.
David Fincher's adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's satirical novel, starring Brad Pitt and Edward Norton, continues to fascinate with its portrayal of masculinity in crisis, its cathartic bare-knuckle violence, its anarchic critique of capitalism (and its humanist critique of that critique), and its mind-bending third-act plot twist that throws Norton's entire narration into doubt. It's a movie that makes you feel the same rush the characters feel, then makes you question yourself for enjoying that rush.
Despite endless analysis and late-night dorm-room bull sessions, there's still plenty about "Fight Club" that you may not know, from who almost played Tyler Durden to how they gave Meat Loaf his "bitch tits." Read on, and share these items with your single-serving friends. »
- Gary Susman
In The Two Faces of January—a sumptuous adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s 1964 novel of the same name that opens Friday—Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst portray Chester and Colette MacFarland, a golden couple embarked on a whistle-stop tour of southern Europe’s most glittering capitals.
Exuding wealth, privilege, and a uniquely American post-war pluck, the immaculately turned-out jet-setters’ fortunes grind to an abrupt halt in Athens where they meet an American tour guide named Rydal (Oscar Isaac)—an expat grifter with a straw fedora and palpable lust for Colette.
An accidental murder sets the three on the run together »
- Chris Lee
Music is at the core of two new Specialty features making their theatrical bows this weekend, albeit from rather different ends of the spectrum. XLrator Media will open Jimi: All Is By My Side focusing on the artist’s life in London in nearly three dozen theaters, while Samuel Goldwyn Films will bow faith-centered The Song in over 300 theaters, the biggest number of runs for a limited release newcomer this week. Magnolia Pictures will take thriller The Two Faces Of January starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac to an initial half-dozen locations in the wake of its VOD release late last month and CBS Films is targeting the same number of runs for its Cannes ’14 feature Pride. Factory 25 is opening its art meets goth-rap thriller Hellaware and Cinema Libre will debut a former Swiss foreign-language Oscar contender The Little Bedroom in exclusive New York runs. The weekend is »
- Brian Brooks
Oscar Isaac is having a pretty good year. The Juilliard-trained actor has been on a bit of a roll since being cast as the lead in Inside Llewyn Davis; the Coen brothers’ ’60s folk noir may not have gotten the awards traction that could have made Isaac’s breakout a truly golden ride, but it’s not like the lack of an Oscar nomination dimmed his prospects either. Not only did he score a choice role opposite Jessica Chastain in director J.C. Chandor’s A Most Violent Year, which recently received an awards-season friendly 2014 release date—he was also cast in Star Wars: Episode VII. »
- Lindsey Bahr
The New York première of Hossein Amini's debut feature The Two Faces Of January based on the Patricia Highsmith novel, starring Oscar Isaac, Viggo Mortensen, and Kirsten Dunst at the Sunshine Landmark Cinema was hosted by Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte with Derek Blasberg, Editor-at-Large of Harper's Bazaar.
Amini was the screenwriter of Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive, starring Ryan Gosling, Christina Hendricks, Bryan Cranston, Carey Mulligan, Oscar Isaac, Albert Brooks, and Iain Softley's The Wings Of The Dove which starred Helena Bonham Carter, Charlotte Rampling, Elizabeth McGovern and Michael Gambon.
- Anne-Katrin Titze
The official trailer for "The Two Faces of January," the directorial debut of predominant screenwriter Hossein Amini ("Drive,"The Wings of the Dove") starring Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Isaac and Kirsten Dunst, has made its way online. It will be released by Magnolia Pictures on iTunes/OnDemand August 28, and in theaters September 26. A suspense thriller, based on the novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith, "The Two Faces of January" follows an American couple, Chester (Mortensen) and Colette (Dunst), on a European vacation that goes deadly. Check out the trailer below: »
- Oliver MacMahon
Check out the poster debut, exclusive to Toh!, for "Drive" screenwriter Hossein Amini's directorial debut "The Two Faces of January," starring Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen and Oscar Isaac. It's based on Patricia Highsmith's 1962-set page-turner. This posh thriller centers on a tony American couple (Mortensen and Dunst) who, while vacationing in sunny Athens, tangle with a suspiciously charismatic Greek-speaking American (Isaac). But their menage-a-trois takes murderous, jealous and paranoid turns when he becomes accomplice to the affluent couple's bad behavior. Oscar nominee Amini's (1998's "The Wings of the Dove") classy throwback bowed on Us shores at the San Francisco International Film Festival in April 2014 -- here's our review. It plays the La Film Festival this week before Magnolia Pictures brings it to VOD on August 28, and to theaters on September 26. So far, it has picked up strong reviews. The stars are attractive, as are the ravishingly filmed Greek and Turkish locales, »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Written and directed by Hossein Amini
USA and UK, 2014
Anyone acquainted with Roman theology or a pub quiz will know that January is a Anglicisation of the Roman god Janus, the two-faced figurine who stands at the cusp of the new year, simultaneously musing backward at recent lessons and experiences, and peering forward to the murky and elusive future ahead, a guardian at the crossroads of the past and present. These twin impulses swirl in the miasma of Patricia Highsmith’s novel The Two Faces of January, first published in 1964. It’s a lesser-known work of her serrated literature, which is obsessed with psychological and sexual criminal deviancy, most famously brought to the screen by Hitchcock in the minor classic Strangers On A Train and by Anthony Minghella in 1999’s acclaimed The Talented Mr. Ripley. After decades of intense wrangling, accomplished screenwriter Hossein Amini (Jude, »
Hossein Amini’s debut film shares something with the work he’s known for in his screenwriting capacity. In the mid-90s he adapted Jude and The Wings of the Dove to great acclaim and more recently saw his work on Drive and Snow White and the Huntsman earn him further plaudits.
He stepped behind the camera last year to direct The Two Faces of January, a Patricia Highsmith novel he also adapted for the screen. Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac star in the film, which played to great reviews at Berlin earlier in the year and this evening the UK premiere was held in Leicester Square.
Amon Warmann and Will Roberts were there to speak to the great and the good on the red carpet. Here’s what happened…
Read our review of The Two Faces of January here.
Director Hosseini Amini
- Jon Lyus
Now in its 57th year, the storied San Francisco International Film Festival has selected its Opening and Closing Night films. On April 24, the fest will kick off with Opening Night film "The Two Faces of January," Hossein Amini's Patricia Highsmith adaptation starring Oscar Isaac, Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst. Centered on a con artist, his wife and a mysterious ex-pat tour guide as they attempt to flee Greece following a violent incident that interlocks the trio, the 60s-set film premiered at the 2014 Berlinale where it picked up solid reviews. This is Amini's debut feature as a director. He wrote the slick, tightly crafted screenplay for Nicolas Winding Refn's 2011 "Drive," and was among the many scribes on both "Snow White and the Huntsman" and "47 Ronin." Amini's 1997 Henry James adaptation "The Wings of the Dove" nabbed him a Oscar nomination. Magnolia Pictures will distribute "Two Faces of January" later this year. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
Patricia Highsmith provides the plot and writer-director Hossein Amini supplies the culture in “The Two Faces of January,” a gripping old-school suspenser starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac that plays like “The Talented Mr. Ripley” minus the sultry sexual chemistry among its three leads. While the love-triangle dynamic lacks spark, this tony adaptation should have no trouble seducing Hitchcock fans and smarthouse types with its golden-hued tour of southeast Europe. What better way to see Turkey and Greece than in the company of such beautiful law-breakers as they try to stay two steps ahead of the local authorities?
Originally developed through “Ripley” director Anthony Minghella’s Mirage shingle, this lesser-known Highsmith novel has been smoldering on Amini’s to-do list for nearly 15 years. Best known as the screenwriter of such subtext-rich adaptations as “The Wings of the Dove” and “Drive,” Amini excels at conveying the subtle, unspoken tensions between characters, »
- Peter Debruge
The man that wrote Drive and The Wings of The Dove, Hossein Amini is now stepping behind the camera to direct The Two Faces of January. This will be the Iranian filmmaker’s first feature directorial project. The film is a “thriller centered on a con artist, his wife, and a stranger who try to flee a foreign country after one of them is caught up in the murder of a police officer.” [Synopsis Courtest of IMDb] The film will star Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, and Oscar Isaac.
I’ll admit, the trailer has me intrigued. It looks like a tense, taught, thriller, held together with the kind of restrained performances that really tend to keep you guessing about where your allegiances should lie.
Give it a look and see if it’s up your alley.
Something else I’m proud to see is the continuing rise of Oscar Isaac. An actor of Cuban »
- Mario-Francisco Robles
Hossein Amini has built a very respectable career as a screenwriter, responsible for Drive and The Wings Of The Dove and called in by studios for big would-be tentpoles like Snow White And The Huntsman and 47 Ronin. Now he's turning to directing as well, and upcoming thriller The Two Faces Of January is his debut. Here's the trailer and poster for the film, which stars the interesting combo of Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Isaac and Kirsten Dunst. brightcove.createExperiences();As you probably picked up from that trailer, Mortensen is a con artist and Dunst plays his wife. They're on the run abroad when they meet local guide Rydal (Isaac) and the three work together to flee the country after the murder of a police officer. Judging by the significant glances being exchanged between Dunst and Isaac's characters here, that isn't all they'll be working on either.The Two Faces Of January »
'If I'm wrong, I'm insane. If I'm right, it's worse': in conspiracy films – from Rosemary's Baby to State of Play – solving the crime does not bring peace. Michael Newton investigates a rich cinematic genre
Some believe that JFK was shot by his driver, some that Bobby Kennedy was killed by one of his guards; some believe the world is ruled by a Yale fraternity, some by lizard-aliens in disguise; some believe that Obama is a Communist mole; some that, back in 1966, Paul McCartney died. These notions are, at best, deluded; but as potential pitches for an as yet unmade Hollywood movie, they might just secure the contract. For, in movies, you can believe that the moon shots were faked, or that men are replacing their wives with compliant robots, or that space shuttles are firing earthquake-inducing weapons, or that the world itself is a delusion – and in each case you could be proved right. »
- Michael Newton
16 items from 2014
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