Hossein Amini’s pleasing adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel of the same name falls victim to its meagre 12A rating; often willing to broach the mature themes demanded of it, yet never fully committing.
Performances are particularly strong throughout, with an eminently desperate sensitivity from Mortensen that largely makes up for The Two Faces of January‘s excessive use of unduly melodramatic scoring.
In conclusion, alongside cinematographer Marcel Zyskind’s elegantly refined system of intimacy and absentia, January is often masterful in its employment of visual structure, but ultimately forgoes the necessary depth needed to sustain it.
Visually impressive, with performances well worthy of its source material, Amini’s mediocre adaptation ultimately fails to provide the substance to match some of its greater aspects.
CAST: Kirsten Dunst, Oscar Isaac, Viggo Mortensen
DIRECTOR: Hossein Amini
WRITERS: Hossein Amini (screenplay), Patricia Highsmith (novel)
SYNOPSIS: Three American foreigners try to flee The Greek Islands following the accidental death of a hitman.