3 items from 2014
It's hard to get a read on Viggo Mortensen's con man in The Two Faces of January, and that's awfully fitting, considering who plays him. Since the Lord of the Rings trilogy made Mortensen bankable, he's mostly spent that capital on unexpected character roles in a series of modestly budgeted indies, including this throwback thriller (adapted by Hossein Amini from the Patricia Highsmith novel), where Mortensen and his wife Kirsten Dunst are thrown together with Oscar Isaac after an accidental murder in 1960s Greece. No one is who they seem, and their alliances are always up for grabs, and Mortensen had a ball with the ambiguity. "It’s always fun to have secrets," he told Vulture, "but when you’re playing a con man, you’re having secrets within secrets within secrets."The film reminded me of A Perfect Murder, where you and Michael Douglas are vying for Gwyneth Paltrow »
- Kyle Buchanan
Before I Go to Sleep, 2014.
Directed by Rowan Joffe.
A woman wakes up every day, remembering nothing as a result of a traumatic accident in her past. One day, new terrifying truths emerge that force her to question everyone around her.
Here’s a film which relies entirely on the promise of a twist we never saw coming, hoping the hour or so we invest into the build up to said twist, and the ensuing payoff, will be worth the wait. The twist is great and I didn’t see it coming, but the build up and payoff really is not worth the price of admission.
- Gary Collinson
Written by Patrick Smith Kelly
Directed by Andrew Davis
In a makeshift loft apartment in one of Manhattan’s forgotten districts, two lovers, Emily and David (Gwyneth Paltrow and Viggo Mortensen) embrace passionately under the bed sheets amidst a collection of amateur paintings. Emily is a successful aid to the United States ambassador at the United Nations, while David is a struggling artist hoping to catch a break in the New York art scene. The glitch in their happiness is that Emily is married to another man, Steven Taylor (Michael Douglas), an investor. Steven, perceptive and driven by the suspicion that his wife may be cheating on him, quickly collects all the information necessary to confirm his suspicions and some dirty secrets about David’s past. Rather than threaten David with murderous rage, Steven makes the artist an offer: murder Emily and earn $500,000 in the process. »
- Edgar Chaput
3 items from 2014
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