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The Two Faces of January (2014)

PG-13 | | Romance, Thriller | 28 August 2014 (USA)
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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.

Director:

Hossein Amini

Writers:

Hossein Amini, Patricia Highsmith (based on the novel by)
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3,808 ( 1,478)
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Oscar Isaac ... Rydal
Viggo Mortensen ... Chester
Kirsten Dunst ... Colette
Daisy Bevan ... Lauren
Babis Chatzidakis Babis Chatzidakis ... Stall Keeper
David Warshofsky ... Paul Vittorio
Pat Hillard Pat Hillard ... American Hotel Guest
Ozan Tas Ozan Tas ... Hotel Grand Receptionist
Peter Mair Peter Mair ... Elderly Man at Hotel Grand
Helena Jinx Jones Helena Jinx Jones ... Elderly Woman at Hotel Grand
Omiros Poulakis ... Nikos
George Tzoganidis George Tzoganidis ... Heralkion Hotel Receptionist
Ioannis Vordos Ioannis Vordos ... Cafe Owner
Panagiota Stavrakaki Panagiota Stavrakaki ... Landlady
Stella Fyrogeni Stella Fyrogeni ... Barmaid (as Stela Fyrogeni)
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Storyline

1962. A glamorous American couple, the charismatic Chester MacFarland (Mortensen) and his alluring younger wife Colette (Dunst), arrive in Athens by boat via the Corinth Canal. While sightseeing at the Acropolis they encounter Rydal (Isaac), a young, Greek-speaking American who is working as a tour guide, scamming tourists on the side. Drawn to Colette's beauty and impressed by Chester's wealth and sophistication, Rydal gladly accepts their invitation to dinner. However, all is not as it seems with the MacFarlands and Chester's affable exterior hides darker secrets. When Rydal visits the couple at their exclusive hotel, Chester presses him to help move the body of a seemingly unconscious man who he claims attacked him. In the moment, Rydal agrees but as events take a more sinister turn he finds himself compromised and unable to pull himself free. His increasing infatuation with the vulnerable and responsive Colette gives rise to Chester's jealousy and paranoia, leading to a tense and ... Written by Production

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A mysterious encounter. A dangerous past. A deadly secret.

Genres:

Romance | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some violence, language and smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

UK | France | USA

Language:

English | Greek | Turkish

Release Date:

28 August 2014 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

As Duas Faces de Janeiro See more »

Filming Locations:

Istanbul, Turkey See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$43,116, 28 September 2014

Gross USA:

$507,463

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$13,551,951
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The dog seen in the opening scenes is Viggo's own dog and is called Biggles. See more »

Goofs

When Chester asks the detective if he was a Marine, the detective says "Yes" and that he was happy when he left Europe after the war. Although some believe the Marines were not in Europe during World War II, there were several units deployed there for security and guard duty (the US Embassy in London being one example), and to support Operation Overlord (the invasion at Normandy). They were also used by the OSS, the Office of Strategic Services, for covert missions in Europe during the war. Thus the detective could have easily seen service in Europe during the war. See more »

Quotes

Chester MacFarland: I'm sorry I disappointed you.
See more »

Connections

References Witness for the Prosecution (1957) See more »

Soundtracks

Sousta
Written by Haralambos Garganourakis
Performed by Leonidas Lainakis and Michalis Mzaratsakis (?)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Highly watchable, and will be appreciated as a 'proper film' by older viewers
21 May 2014 | by bob-the-movie-manSee all my reviews

The Two Faces of January is a gripping and highly watchable film which I would highly recommend. Set in the sixties, it is undeniably "old school" – a twisted tale of murder, treachery and double-dealing, based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith, where you half expect Alfred Hitchcock to appear in cameo at some point.

Viggo Mortensen (Lord of the Rings) and Kirsten Dunst (Spiderman) play Chester and Colette Macfarland a rich and affluent couple touring the sites and sounds of Europe, with us first catching up with them in a glorious looking Athens.

Appearing to be relaxed and happy together, they hide a dark secret that is about to catch up with them. Oscar Isaac – so fabulous in Finding Llewyn Davis earlier this year, and about to hit mega-stardom in the Star Wars reboot – plays American rogue Rydal, who seems to stare intently at Chester. Is he part of the impending storm, or just an innocent caught up in events he can't control? Tensions rise, not just because of the plot pressures but also because of the obvious sexual tension growing between the charismatic Rydal and Chester's lovely and much younger wife.

The compelling story – albeit somewhat predictable in places – takes in some fabulously atmospheric locations in Athens, Crete and Istanbul.

This is the feature directorial debut of Iranian-born Hossein Amini, who also wrote the screenplay – this being his forte have written a range of films including Drive and Snow White and the Huntsman. And what a good job he does, orchestrating location, lighting and music to great effect. Some of the editing is also very tight, cutting away from scenes at crucial points to maintain the story's mystery.

The trio of actors also bring great star power to their roles. Mortensen and Dunst are very watchable, but it is Isaac that again really shines in his role. In turns enchanting, brooding and cowed like a cornered animal, he plays the perfect James Stewart character in this Hitchcockian homage.

In the coming blitzkrieg of summer blockbusters, here is a jewel of a film that will be particularly enjoyed by older viewers who remember when story and location were put far ahead of CGI-based special effects.

(If you found this review helpful, please see my other reviews and 'Follow the Fad' at bobmann447.wordpress.com. Thanks.).


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