In advance of an October 3 limited release later this year, distributor Magnolia pictures has released a second theatrical trailer for The Two Faces of January, which premiered earlier this year at the Berlin International Film Festival.
You might be hard pressed to find a film dripping with more indie cred than The Two Faces of January. Its leading man, Viggo Mortensen, is of course best known for his turn as Aragorn in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings, but has a longer and perhaps even stronger history in auteur independent film projects and is known outside Hollywood for his work in publishing, music, and fine arts. Oscar Isaac might be headed to Star Wars, but his rise to prominence was launched by roles in Drive and last year’s star-making performance in Inside Llewyn Davis. Kirsten Dunst saw her star shine brightest leading Melancholia in 2011, and Hossein Amini, making his feature directorial debut, is best known as the writer of Drive. Even the somewhat split opinions of critics who’ve seen the film to date (averaging a 6.9/10 on Rotten Tomatoes right now) might do more to drive the interest of indie audiences than scare them off. And then there’s the fact that this is a film based on a Patricia Highsmith novel, the same author who gave us the source material for Strangers on a Train and The Talented Mr. Ripley, among many others.
The story follows a high society American couple, Chester and Colette MacFarland (Mortensen and Dunst), vacationing in Greece when they happen upon an American tour guide and con man named Rydal (Isaac) and befriend him. Pushed on by an interest in the couple and a budding romance with the Colette, Rydal is drawn into not only the dark underbelly of Chester’s career, but also a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with Chester himself over Colette’s affections. The claustrophobic and deadly sense of explosive emotions held just beneath the surface is certainly present, and Amini’s prior work (he also wrote the screenplay for January) has us hopeful he’ll be able to carry the tension through the film.