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Movie Review

The Two Faces of January

Reviewer Rating
User Rating

Director: Hossein Amini

Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, Oscar Isaac

Duration: 97 minutes

Certificate 12A

1 of 5 A classy, old school thriller
A classy, old school thriller
2 of 5 Gorge yourself on the visuals
Gorge yourself on the visuals
3 of 5 Directed and adapted from Patricia Highsmith's novel by Drive screenwriter Hossein Amini
Directed and adapted from Patricia Highsmith's novel by Drive screenwriter Hossein Amini
4 of 5 Deserves a bigger audience
Deserves a bigger audience
5 of 5 Morse and Poirot nuts should enjoy this
Morse and Poirot nuts should enjoy this

So they can still make them like they used to back in the good old days. Directed by and adapted from Patricia Highsmith's novel by Drive screenwriter Hossein Amini, The Two Faces of January is a classy, old school thriller that deserves a bigger audience than it is going to get. Mammies, Nanas, Morse and Poirot nuts and daters will all find something to savour here.

It's 1962, and enviably smooth couple Chester and Colette MacFarland (Mortensen and Dunst) are doing the cultural tourism thing in Athens - all white outfits and not a hair out of place.

After one particular ruins romp they cross paths with Rydal (Isaac), a Harvard student-turned-ex-pat-tour-guide-hustler who likes to put the moves on minted girls from back home. Mr and Mrs MacFarland, however, are a step into the major leagues, especially with war veteran Chester looking like a man who's seen and done it all.

The Greek Tourist Board should get some Karydopita couriered over to first-time director Amini and his stars, because if ever a movie added yet another destination to the bucket list it's this one. And while you'd hope for a far less eventful trip than Chester and Colette's time with Rydal, it's fun to be stuck in the middle of this triangle for an hour-and-a-half with your allegiances shifting throughout - what a great life reminder that as bad as things are they can always get worse. Hot and sticky (very) is the atmosphere here, cool turning to cold sweat are the characters. Gorge yourself on the visuals.

There's a bit of an overdone theme about father figures, but other than that nothing at this sit down should cause indigestion. 'Singariteeria', Mr Amini.

Harry Guerin

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