ByAdam Olinger, writer at
Host of Movie Feuds
Adam Olinger

I can't for the life of me understand why this film got such praise on Rotten Tomatoes. Perhaps the top critics saw something the typical audience members didn't. I can certainly appreciate the beautiful cinematography and 60's throwback look and feel but there needs to be some life to the picture and that's sorely missing.

The cast all does a fine job here with Viggo Mortensen and Oscar Isaac being the focal point. Kirsten Dunst works with what little she's given but none of them have much range. Instead robotically going thru each scene as the script insists.

The story is pretty straight forward. Chester are Colette MacFarland are on an extended "holiday" where they meet up with a young hustler of sorts. He's not so much interested with Chester's wealth as he is with his wife. This leads to a series of dull conversations until things go South for our lead and he's forced to entrust Rydal (Oscar Isaac) with his problems. A game of cat and mouse strikes up in the most uninteresting way. The major issue I had with the film is virtually nothing happens! What little suspense there is means little because I have no connection with the characters. The pacing at first feels like a slow burn turns out to be nothing more than a steam.

Perhaps the book is better to sit thru but I see no compelling reason to recommend this to anyone and I certainly wouldn't revisit it. I appreciate what director Hossein Amini was going for and like I said, there is some really nice production values but that's as far as it goes. This film desperately wants to be the next Hitchcock picture; complete with jarring music, red herrings and classic framing but Hitchcock, it is not.

The Two Faces of January is out now


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