This sun-drenched thriller is much more than a pretty picture: it's also a slow-burning story about moral compromises that worms its way under the skin. Based on a Patricia Highsmith novel, there are clear parallels to The Talented Mr. Ripley as three characters circle around each other and all kinds of Hitchcockian subtext gurgles around them.
Set in 1962, the plot opens with Chester and Colette (Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst) on a romantic holiday in Athens, where they meet slightly too-helpful American tour guide Rydal (Oscar Isaac). He's already wooing one rich young tourist (Daisy Bevan) and soon locks eyes on Colette. But it's Chester he becomes entangled with, when a private eye (David Warshofsky) turns up trying to reclaim cash Chester stole from a client. So Rydal helps Chester and Colette flee to Crete and, while they wait for a plan to develop, Chester becomes convinced that Rydal and Colette are having an affair.
Writer-director Hossein Amini has already proven himself as a skilled writer of innuendo-filled dialogue (see Drive or The Wings of the Dove), and here he shows a remarkable eye for setting. It helps to have ace cinematographer Marcel Zyskind and composer Alberto Iglesias adding their considerable skills to the mix. The film looks utterly gorgeous, providing plenty of glaring sunlight and murky shadows in which Mortensen, Dunst and Isaac can bring their characters to vivid life. Every scene bursts with suggestiveness, as the inter-relationships between these three people shift unnervingly.
Continue reading: The Two Faces of January Review
Chester MacFarland is a wealthy businessman whose business ventures are often far from lawful. During a vacation to Athens, Greece with his wife Colette, the pair meet a handsome young man named Rydal who works as a tour guide and earns extra cash through elaborate scams. After dining with the couple, Rydal returns to their hotel, but Chester is thrust into disaster when he is forced to defend himself from an armed man who had been on the end of one of his dodgy dealings. Chester persuades Rydal to move the unconscious body, but he soon finds himself trapped in Chester's criminal world with no escape. To make matters worse, he is becoming increasingly enchanted by the highly fragile Colette and, with her accepting his offers of comfort as the trio go on the run, there's only so much jealously Chester can take.
Set in the early sixties, crime thriller 'The Two Faces Of January' sees a tense story of entrapment, jealousy and suspicion. Directed and written by Hossein Amini (writer of '47 Ronin', 'Snow White and the Huntsman', 'Drive, 'Killshot), the movie is based on the 1964 novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith. It is due for UK release on May 16th 2014.
Captain Richard Phillips was in command of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama cargo ship on its voyage to Mombasa, Kenya carrying around 17,000 tons of cargo. However, a routine shipping turned into a deadly nightmare when a group of gun-toting, seafaring pirates from Somalia hijacked the vessel, easily avoiding the jets coming out of the fire hoses on all sides, and took the Captain hostage. With only minutes to spare before he came under attack, the brave Captain ordered his crew of 20 to hide, knowing full well that his life was under enormous threat.
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Captain Richard Phillips never dreamed that his venture on board the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama cargo ship would turn into a perilous hostage situation when a savage group of seafaring Somali criminals sped towards the vast but markedly unarmed vessel in a bid to seize control of the goods on board. When the brave Captain was held at gunpoint in the first case of piracy in two centuries in 2009, he did everything within his power to ensure the safety of his crew while heroically risking his own life.
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Franklin Franklin is a wig-donning, Swiss wannabe loner who lives alone in a small apartment having previously lived with his mentally deranged brother Bernard. He's not the only eccentric character at the complex, however; his wacky neighbours include the Liquor store worker Tommy Balls, Tommy's herpes ridden girlfriend Rocky, the beautiful Simone and the ill-tempered Mr. Allspice. One day, Franklin finds himself in a spot of bother when he accidentally murders his landlord Mr. Olivetti when he pays him a visit about the rent (of lack of it). In an attempt to cover up the homicide, he clumsily stages it as a suicide, which the cops become very suspicious of. Things don't get any easier either, as his Franklin's brother dies suddenly from a brain tumour and he ends up getting badly beaten in the street. Will Franklin find that future that he dreams of? Or will his tedious life gradually spiral further out of control?
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