Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Two Faces of January (2014)

Director: Hossein Amini. Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen, Oscar Isaac. 96 min. Rated PG-13. UK/France/USA. Thriller.

Based on a novel by Patricia Highsmith ("The Talented Mr. Ripley"), the directorial debut of Oscar-nominated screenwriter Hossein Amini (Wings of the Dove, Drive, Snow White and the Huntsman), is a well-directed, well-acted, and well-written love triangle thriller in a far away land, with the intricate mysteries of not knowing the good guy from the bad, till the very last scene. This makes the structure full of surprises, and the story completely unpredictable. Mortensen and Dunst are as fascinating as always, but newcomer Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis) is strangely reminiscent of a young Al Pacino. He's got star power.

Trivia: The month of January is named after Janus, the Roman god of transitions, beginnings, gates, doors, doorways, passages and endings, and as such is usually portrayed with two faces, one looking to the future and the other to the past.

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