In The Two Faces of January—a sumptuous adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s 1964 novel of the same name that opens Friday—Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst portray Chester and Colette MacFarland, a golden couple embarked on a whistle-stop tour of southern Europe’s most glittering capitals.
Exuding wealth, privilege, and a uniquely American post-war pluck, the immaculately turned-out jet-setters’ fortunes grind to an abrupt halt in Athens where they meet an American tour guide named Rydal (Oscar Isaac)—an expat grifter with a straw fedora and palpable lust for Colette.
An accidental murder sets the three on the run together through the islands of Greece and, later, Turkey. As the authorities begin to close in, their allegiance to one another grows increasingly strained and—as with the best movies in the film noir canon—no one turns out to be who they initially seemed. “It’s nice to play someone with secrets,” says Mortensen. “I’m playing a con man who’s also a jealous husband. He’s got a lot of hidden fears. It’s a real banquet for an actor.”
Speaking from Spain’s San Sebastian Film Festival earlier this week (where he was promoting Jauja, the period drama Mortensen stars and co-produced), the actor voiced high praise for Hossein Amini, screenwriter of such films as The Wings of the Dove and Drive, who makes his directorial debut with Two Faces of January. READ FULL STORY