Review: Two Faces of January

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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.

This is the case with Two Faces of January for Colette (Kirsten Dunst) , Chester (Viggo Mortensen) and Rydal (Oscar Isaac). All looking to the future of going home to the states, Rydal running from the past and the pain of the torrid relationship with his Dad and Colette, along with Chester, looking to escape some past discretions with clients, family and friends.

Chester and Colette cross paths with Rydal while taking in the sights of the Greek ruins. After spending a night out on the town, Rydal discovers that Colette has left her flea market bracelet in the cab.

When he arrives at the hotel to return the bracelet, he stumbles upon Chester in the hallway with a man seeming to be drunk…but has accidentally been murdered.. The threesome spends the remainder of the film hiding and running from the authorities.

Two Faces of January is a subtle throwback to the classic Alfred Hitchcock thriller and film noir style of filming. It was a little slow at first, but picks up steam very quickly and keeps moving steadily upstream from that point on.

I loved it! It had twists and turns that one could never predict and kept me on the edge of my seat!

The standout performance is the film was Mr. Oscar Isaac (who we saw last season receive accolades for Inside Llewlyn Davis). He reminded me a a young Al Pacino from his “Godfather” days. His actings screams of a quiet calm that makes his compelling to watch. I couldn’t take my eyes off him! It doesn’t hurt that he is cutie pie with a cherry on top!

Two Faces of January was a standout and darling of the film festival circuit over the summer and hit theatres back in May. It is totally a thrill a minute and never disappoints.

 

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