The Two Faces of January | Film review – Expat trio Viggo, Kirsten & Oscar, perilously entangled in 1960s Greece

Two Faces of January - Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Isaac and Kirsten Dunst

Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac play a trio of expat Americans who become perilously entangled in early-1960s Greece in stylish psychological thriller The Two Faces of January, based on the novel by crime writer Patricia Highsmith, legendary author of The Talented Mr Ripley. Isaac’s character is a sharp-eyed, Ripley-like young hustler who charms his way into the lives of Mortensen and Dunst’s wealthy married couple after encountering them on the steps of the Parthenon in 1962 Athens – but the coolly glamorous pair are not all they seem and he duly finds himself snared in a mesh of desire, guilt, paranoia and murder. Telling this tale, first-time director Hossein Amini (screenwriter of The Wings of the Dove and Drive, among other credits) sometimes overplays his hand, and things turn rather melodramatic before the end, but the acting is excellent, with Mortensen particularly strong as his character’s cool façade begins to crack.


Certificate 12. Runtime 93 mins. Director Hossein Amini.

Released on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD by StudioCanal. 


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