The Two Faces of January

Synopsis: 1962. A glamorous American couple, the charismatic Chester MacFarland (Mortensen) and his alluring younger wife Colette (Dunst), arrive in Athens by boat via the Corinth 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 d
Genre: Romance, Thriller
Director(s): Hossein Amini
Production: Magnolia Pictutures
  3 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
96 min


Take a look at that view.

Spectacular, isn't it?

But it was here

on the acropolis hill

that some believe

Theseus's father king Aegeus

looked out to sea, waiting

for his son to return.

See, Theseus had

promised his father

that if he defeated

the minotaur,

he'd hoist a white sail

on his ship as a tribute.

But he was so excited

to get back home,

he forgot and he flew

the same black sail

that he set out with.

Well, thinking his son was dead,

the heartbroken king flung

himself onto the rocks below.

Another victim of the cruel

tricks gods play on men.

Well, I hope you ladies

brought your handkerchiefs,

'cause the next thing

you're about to see

has been known to make some weep

at first sight. Follow me.

Completed in 438 B.C.,

the Parthenon.

From the Greek word "parthenes,"

meaning "virgins."

"The ancient Greeks

were masters of deception.

Even though the base

of the Parthenon appears

straight to the naked eye,

it is, in fact,

completely crooked.

Indeed, if one were

to leave one's hat

on one side of the temple steps,

it would vanish altogether

when viewed from the other."

- You're making this up.

- Oh, only one way to find out.

- Oh.

- Wanna try it?

- All right.

- Come on.

All right. You go on down there,

- I'll put the hat right here.

- Mm-hmm.

Off you go.


I hear that.

- Is this far enough?

- That's perfect.

Oh my God, you're right.



Aw jeez.

Sucker born every minute.

- Come on, baby.

- I got you.

Oh well.

Gosh, it's so hot.

Yeah. Getting bored

of the Parthenon?

- No no no no.

- Come on, we have to finish the bottle.

I was supposed to meet

my friends an hour ago.

Oh, you just tell 'em you got lost.

I'm a terrible tour guide.

- Let me get this.

- No no no, I got it.

- I got it.

- Thank you.

My pleasure.

Actually, do you have any...

- Small bills?

- Oh, umm...

- Change?

- I think so.

- Shall I take a look?

- Yeah, actually, I'm not sure.

Okay. All right,

so it's four drachmas,

so if I take five and $10,

I'll give you back 200 drachmas.

- Good?

- Okay.

Thank you.

True story.

She's very pretty, isn't she?

Oh no, I was... I was looking

at the guy that she was with.

He reminds me

of my father a little bit.

It says we should go to

the flea market on Sunday.

Apparently it's less crowded.

Don't look now,

but there's a young guy

in a gray shirt

sitting with a girl

in blue and white striped dress.

He was at the Parthenon earlier,

staring at me.

Staring at me now.


Now I'm curious.

Oh, I'm sorry,

I don't speak Greek.

- Somebody's in there.

- You're American?

- Yeah.

- Where are you from?

- I'm from Trenton.

- New Jersey?


I thought you were Greek.

What are you doing in Athens?

Uh, I'm a tour guide.

Do you need one?

He's an American tour guide,

he's been here a year

and before that he went to Yale.

- Do you believe him?

- You can ask him yourself.

He's gonna show us around

the flea market Sunday.



So Colette tells me

you went to Yale.

- Yes sir.

- What did you major in?

- Economics.

- Hmm.

Good training for a tour guide.

Yeah, well, that wasn't

the plan initially.

My father had a job lined up

at a friend's law firm and...

and you ran away

as fast as you could.

Something like that. What do

you do for a living, sir?

Call me Chester.

I look after people's savings,

mostly low-risk investments.

How much?

20 drachmas.

There you go.

- A steal.

- You must be doing pretty well, though,

if you're staying at the grand.

Honey, look at this.

- It's beautiful, isn't it?

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Hossein Amini

Hossein Amini (Persian: حسین امینی‎; born 18 January 1966) is a British-Iranian screenwriter and film director. Amini has worked as a screenwriter since the early 1990s. He was nominated for numerous awards for the 1997 film The Wings of the Dove, including an Academy Award for Best Writing – Adapted Screenplay. He also won a "Best Adapted Screenplay" award from the Austin Film Critics Association for his screenplay adaptation of Nicolas Winding Refn's Drive (2011), based on the novel by James Sallis. For his directorial debut, he both wrote and directed The Two Faces of January, an adaptation of the Patricia Highsmith novel. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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