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Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst against a Greek backdrop in The Two Faces of January
Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst

Film

The Two Faces of January

M
Violence and infrequent coarse language

16 Jan - 26 Jan

Viggo Mortensen and Kristen Dunst star as a glamorous American couple holidaying in Athens when they meet a young Greek-speaking American, Rydal (Oscar Isaac), who is drawn into their seductive orbit. Adapted from the suspense novel by Patricia Highsmith. 

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  • Holidaying in Athens in 1962, the MacFarlands - Chester (Mortensen) and Colette (Dunst) – exude conspicuous style and an air of old money. Keen to line his pockets with more than the tips he extracts from gullible young American tourists, Greek-American expat, Rydal (Isaac) contrives an introduction but very quickly gets in over his calculating head.

    Hossein Amini – the screenwriter of literary adaptations including Jude (directed by Michael Winterbottom) and The Wings of a Dove (based on the Henry James novel) – makes an assured directorial debut, ably supported by his three excellent leads in Mortensen, Dunst and Isaac.  

    The Two Faces of January is an elegant film. Apart from the obvious echoes that come when a film derives from Highsmith (Strangers on a Train, the various takes on Ripley), it also recalls those European-set cosmopolitan thrillers of the Fifties and Sixties…These films were often about the thought that Americans might be in peril venturing into the company of unknowable foreigners – but the Highsmith variation was that they were never in so much danger as they were from other Americans” Film Comment    

    “A seductive psychological thriller” Urban Cinefile