A thriller centered on a con artist, his wife, and a stranger who flee Athens after one of them is caught up in the death of a private detective.


“The Two Faces of January” scratches my cult literature movie adaptation itch. Patricia Highsmith has had her work adapted by Hollywood for ages, but the film material has only matched the quality of the novels a handful of times. This film opens on an American couple trying to leave Greece after the husband kills a detective. They meet a tour guide, but the guide wants to scam them as he knows they’re in trouble. All three start to play off each, but no one is sure who has the upper hand.

Mortensen and Dunst work well off each other, but I can’t say the same for Oscar Isaac. When Isaac gets going, he only plays off of Mortensen and leaves Dunst out in the cold. While that would’ve been typical of the time frame that the novel takes place/was created; it hits the mind’s eye as being fake. The showy travel localized to one area, while playing off the traditional costume creates a modern film that wants to play as middle era Hitchock in the worst way. This is Hossein Amini’s feature debut and I have to say that the writer of “Drive” impresses in his first outing. It’s just that Highsmith might have been asking too much. Minghella and Clement had difficulty adapting her work in the past. Next time, aim smaller.

The Blu-Ray comes with deleted scenes, bloopers and featurettes as the special features. The A/V Quality is sharp for an indie drama. The 1080p transfer pops for the bright landscapes. The DTS-HD 5.1 master audio track gets a workout as well. In the end, I’d recommend a purchase.

RELEASE DATE: 01/13/2015

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