When three people are mixed up in a crime that could cost them their lives, who can be trusted? More importantly, who will crack under the pressure first? Those are the questions posed by the new trailer for screenwriter Hossein Amini’s (Drive) directorial debut The Two Faces of January, which can be watched above.
The Two Faces of January is based on a 1964 novel by prolifically adapted thriller and suspense author Patricia Highsmith, whose more well known works include Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley. Strangers was of course famously brought to the big-screen by legendary director Alfred Hitchcock, making it quite fitting that the trailer for Two Faces puts off a noticeably Hitchcockian vibe in mood, performance, wardrobe, and setting.
For those unfamiliar with Highsmith’s novel, The Two Faces of January is set in 1962 Greece, and centers on American couple Chester (Viggo Mortensen) and Collete (Kirsten Dunst) MacFarland. The visit is primarily a sight-seeing one, leading the MacFarlands to run across Rydal (Inside Llewyn Davis’‘ Oscar Isaac), a tour guide/confidence man whose sideline is bilking unsuspecting tourists out of large sums of money.
During the process of Rydal’s usual scam, he finds himself more and more fascinated by the couple, eventually accepting an invite to their posh hotel. However, when some old misdeeds of the MacFarlands’ catch up to them, Chester acidentally commits a murder, one which he pressures Rydal to aid and abet. Rydal, already falling for young trophy wife Collette, does so. The question soon becomes just how long the three partners in crime can stay ahead of the cops, all while the burgeoning love triangle threatens to shatter their already tenuous alliance.
First premiering at February’s Berlin International Film Festival, The Two Faces of January drew almost immediate critical acclaim, which has mostly held up during its May series of theatrical releases across Europe. The film currently holds an impressive 81% fresh rating on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, out of 31 reviews. Two Faces will be available for us here in the States to check out later this year.
Much of Two Faces was filmed on location in Greece and Turkey, with some interiors done at a studio in London, making the movie just as international an affair as the book from which it spawned. The diverse, multi-national cast also definitely helps give the project a worldwide flavor.
Two Faces’ story may not seem like the most original one in the world to today’s audiences, but in the case of adapting a classic novel, it’s often less about the premise and more about the execution. Mortensen, Dunst, and Isaac appear to be diving headfirst into their roles, and the cinematography looks gorgeous. If you’re a fan of Hitchcockian suspense thrillers, this really seems like one to keep an eye on.
The Two Faces of January will be released on VOD on August 28. 2014, and in U.S. theaters on October 3, 2014.
Source: Magnolia Pictures