The Two Faces of January (2014)

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Hossein Amini directs Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac in this 60s set Highsmith adaptation of a trio on the leisurely run in Greece.

A classy little thriller at its best when it just lets the three stars grate against each other rather try to outrun or outfox whomever they are currently mistrusting. It all looks gorgeous but the languid pace and the waste of the usually excellent Dunst, in an ambiguous and oft offscreen role, means it never really pays out on its promised value. There is a wonderful moment where the initially impeccably turned out tourists find themselves wandering the dusty, scrubby countryside, their clothes dirty and sweaty and any vestige of being civilised (Greece, hey?) far behind them. Visual metaphors, no matter how strong, do not a gripping night out make though. At least this prestige adaptation gifts you a new book to give a try now the source material has some beautiful faces and places for your brain to already hook onto.

5

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