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Film Review: The Face of Love

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★★★☆☆

Nikki hasn’t managed to get over the death of her husband. She looks like she’s coping, but there’s a storm going on beneath the surface. And that storm comes to the forefront when she sees a man that looks just like her dead husband – an identical doppelganger. She befriends the man and goes on dates with him. She thinks she has him back.

That’s the strange and far-fetched premise of Ari Posin’s drama. It’s silly and gets a bit hysterical at times but somehow the strength of its cast keep it afloat, namely Annette Bening (the grieving widow), Ed Harris (the doppelganger) and Robin Williams (Nikki’s best friend).

Benning and Harris play off against each other well, with Bening’s leading performance cutting through the more ridiculous parts of the screenplay in order to make the drama feel more believable. Williams, in one of his last screen performances before he died, offers a commendably restrained and melancholy performance as an upset and wounded man putting a brave face on in order to cope with the pressures life has put upon him.

The film ends up feeling a little slight, clocking in at barely an hour and a half, although the fact that it doesn’t outstay its welcome is also something in its favour. It has a curious story to tell and, despite some stumbles and flaws, it copes with it admirably.

The Face of Love (2013), directed by Ari Posin, is released in the UK on 12 December, Certificate 12A. Watch a clip below:   

 




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