Viggo Mortensen features prominently in the first trailer for The Two Faces Of January, which will also see Kirsten Dunst appear as his wife, and Inside Llewyn Davis’ Oscar Isaacs as a treacherous tour guide.
Written by Hossein Amini, the screenwriter behind Drive and 47 Ronin, The Two Faces Of January is also the Academy Award nominee’s directorial debut, and it’s based on Patricia Highsmith’s 1964 novel of the same name.
You can check out the trailer below:
The official synopsis for the film reads:
1962. A glamorous American couple, the charismatic Chester MacFarland (Mortensen) and his alluring younger wife Colette (Dunst), arrive in Athens by boat via the Corinthian Canal.
While sightseeing at the Acropolis they encounter Rydal (Isaac), a young, Greek-speaking American who is working as a tour guide, scamming tourists on the side. Drawn to Colette’s beauty and impressed by Chester’s wealth and sophistication, Rydal gladly accepts their invitation to dinner.
However, all is not as it seems with the MacFarlands and Chester’s affable exterior hides darker secrets. When Rydal visits the couple at their exclusive hotel, Chester presses him to help move the body of a seemingly unconscious man who he claims attacked him.
In the moment, Rydal agrees but as events take a more sinister turn he finds himself compromised and unable to pull himself free. His increasing infatuation with the vulnerable and responsive Colette gives rise to Chester’s jealousy and paranoia, leading to a tense and dangerous battle of wits between the two men.
Their journey takes them from Greece to Turkey, and to a dramatic finale played out in the back alleys of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar.
The Two Faces Of January recently premiered at the Berlin Film Festival to positive reviews, and Amini admitted that he has achieved a life long ambition by creating the project.
“Twenty five years, so more than half of my life. When I was a student at university up until now, wanting to get this book made into a film, it has been a long journey, but I think it has made it more worthwhile in a sense, because having to wait for something is great,” admitted Amini at a press conference for the film.
At the same media event, Mortensen also discussed the untrustworthy nature of the trio of leading characters, which is what clearly piqued his original interest in the project.
“The only thing I would say is that the characters need to lie and lose and it needs to end badly really for everyone,” the actor explained. “As long as it does that it is acceptable to me as ‘film noir’, no matter where it takes place. And that certainly happens in this movie. And the great thing about these kinds of characters is they always have secrets and that is what the story is generally about, you know. The masks fall away.”
The Two Faces Of January has recently been released in Europe, but it is yet to find an American distributor.