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Entries in Hossein Amini (2)

Friday
Sep052014

Review: The Two Faces of January

Michael Cusumano here to review the latest stylistic throwback based on the writing of Patricia Highsmith.

When people gripe “They don’t make ‘em like they used to” films like Hossein Amini’s The Two Faces of January are the kind of movie they mean. It’s adapted from the work of an acclaimed novelist whose books were the source of such beloved films as The Talented Mr. Ripley and Strangers on a Train. It features big stars in sumptuous foreign locales. It is made with a careful attention to detail. It doesn’t dumb things down or clutter the plot up with needless action. It is fair to say I was primed to love this movie, yet it never quite jolts to life. At some point my investment in the story passed from suspense to impatience. It never went so far as indifference, but I was pretty far from the edge of my seat. Rather, I was leaned back in my chair, head in my hand, thinking what a classy job everyone involved was doing and admiring the sumptuous visuals and thinking how this was going to end up being one of those reviews that used the word “sumptuous” a lot.

The key problem is that foreign intrigue of the Hitchcock variety requires storytelling that stays a few steps ahead of the audience, and it's easy to keep leaping ahead of January’s characters. Far too much time is spent with characters sitting in cafés, smoking, drinking, and eyeing each other suspiciously, when they should be trying to have sex with or murder one another, preferably both. [More...]

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Monday
Jul022012

"I said, 'What kind of link are YOU?' "

Lists and Miscellania
Comics Alliance 50 comic book characters that resonate with LGBT audiences. Very few of them have made the trek to the movies. Just sayin'. Hopefully some day some of them will.
The Wrap wonders if Beasts of the Southern Wild can become a commercial hit. 
Hollywood Elsewhere on the Philistines who aren't into Magic Mike
Tom Shone on Brave Pro: the hair; Con: bear slapstick. Awww, I loved the bear slapstick.  
Thelma Adams interviews Michelle Williams on Take This Waltz 
Pajiba "Love is Dead Forever!" because the only appropriate response to the impending Tom Cruise / Katie Holmes divorce is total hysteria.
Scene Stealers  the ten most deliciously awkward moments in Wes Anderson's filmography? Written pre Moonrise Kingdom obviously because that's loaded with them.

Into the Future
/Film Screenwriter Hossein Amini (Drive) will direct his first feature, an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's The Two Faces of January with Viggo Mortensen and Oscar Isaac. I have actually read this novel which is a rare thing when we're talking up "future movies". Sadly I don't remember it at all so I can't comment on the casting other than that I find that either of those faces is good for any month.
First Showing Luc Besson may follow up the De Niro / Pfeiffer Malavita with the adaptation of sci-fi French comic book Valerian

My Favorite Reviews / Essays o' The Moment
Wesley Morris on Moonrise Kingdom -Wes Anderson finally comes through
Norman Buckley on Birth like Vertigo, it will only gain in stature