A dapper businessman named Chester MacFarland (Viggo Mortensen) and his gorgeous wife Colette (Kirsten Dunst) meet charismatic tour-guide Rydal (Oscar Isaac) whilst on vacation in Greece. He helps them flee Athens when an accidental murder occurs but Rydal soon realises that Chester is hiding many more dark secrets.
Based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel, director Hossein Amini’s beautiful thriller hits every one of its marks. Gorgeously shot with a delicious twist, this is a great suspense-filled drama with a real eye for beauty. The early 60s are recreated with true style and panache to blanket this film with a historically accurate and beautifully crafted ambience that helps the drama unfold.
The ensemble cast are amazing and propel this thriller to new heights. Viggo Mortensen oozes classic authority, Oscar Isaac brings his charisma to the forefront and Kirsten Dunst is the epitome of ageless beauty. Together, we are treated to three relationship dynamics that explore many facets of these involving characters and their motives. The father-son dynamic between Chester and Rydal is weighted perfectly, the husband-wife coupling of Colette and Chester feels natural and the forbidden attraction between Rydal and a flirtatious Colette is anything but innocent.
The film is a glorious picture-postcard that knows exactly how to get maximum pull from its stunning locations. In many ways this is a real throw-back to classic filmmaking, with location shoots giving The Two Faces of January style and character in its own right. The environment plays such a pivotal role in the development of the story and marks the film out with quality coming from every angle.
With twists and turns that constantly keep you engaged and entertained, The Two Faces of January is a glorious ode to classic noir. With an incredible cast, luscious location-shoots and a first-time director with undoubted style and vision, The Two Faces of January is a big triumph that shouldn’t be missed.