Faces - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Faces Reviews

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Super Reviewer
October 31, 2010
Cassavetes' first endeavor into the world of marriage, with his second feature film, yielded a humane glimpse into the lives of two impossibly unhappy people who think they understand happiness. The husband believes he understands that a fourteen year marriage, security, and repetition makes for an unhappy person, and so he leaves his wife in the middle of the night to fall into the arms of a younger woman. The wife believes she is happy already, and though shocked by her husband's request, knows to find it elsewhere while she still can. Both of them journey back into the night to find people to give them their satisfaction, their happiness, but sadly they both find that the crumbling of a decade long marriage does not relinquish them from one another. What comes of the wide scope and interesting subject matter covered, is a film that speaks about how uncomfortable we all are when we're placed in our separate boxes, and how happiness is relative and finite. The camera follows each of them as they find others to spend the night with. Richard (Marley) falls back in with a group of people who think they're completely different than anyone else, and have found happiness in greed, sex, and wealth. Jeannie (Rapp) finds appeal in alcohol, being out with other women, and youth. Both husband and wife believe that being with someone younger predicates happiness, and that decision proves fatal to one and heartbreaking to the other. Cassavetes made a film that is ungodly uncomfortable to watch from beginning to end. It is the epitome of people going through a mid-life crisis, though Jeannie is only putting on a show for her husband to show she doesn't care. Neither of them finds what they're looking for by the end of the film, and both probably regret the actions they took the night before, but it seems that neither will admit anything either. In the last scene we're left with disillusionment as both find themselves changed by the night before, but remain silent and pensive. It's clear that Cassavetes wants us to examine ourselves, and what we perceive as happiness, as romance, but not in such a one sided approach as society has dictated. Though many characters ramble and it feels inconsistent at times, it is a good portrait of a couple who have lost their way.
Super Reviewer
January 11, 2008
I wasn't terribly impressed. Yes, it's filmed beautifully and the black and white is effective. But to me, it's two hours of people getting drunk and dribbling s$&t. And the drunken singing, dear god, make it stop.
I'm not an idiot who can't appreciate films as art and likes everything nicey nice with a happy ending. Some of my favourite movies are dark as hell. This, however, is just too long and it's irritating. If I wanted to watch drunken fools, I could go hang out down the pub.
I was interested in the premise of an unhappy couple and the monotony of suburbia, but these weren't like regular people. I thought this theme was done very well in Revolutionary Road, and I guess I thought this might be in the same vein.
To top it all off, the mono sound meant I had to watch the whole movie with subtitles on because I could hardly understand what anyone was saying. (Then I felt like maybe I should switch them off again as maybe it would be preferable to the nonsense they were actually talking).
Even having a hooker as a character couldn't make this interesting.
This movie seems very popular, but I can't believe it's just me.
JonathanHutchings
Super Reviewer
½ August 4, 2012
Cassavetes' probing look at dissolving marriages in the face of suburban malaise may be overlong and excessive, but it's unflinchingly honest at every turn. He's the master of letting scenes develop while simultaneously deconstructing them. Faces may not be his best film, but his directorial prowess is on full display. Cinema verite at its best.
Super Reviewer
January 25, 2008
When I saw it, I had never and have still never seen much like it.
Super Reviewer
May 4, 2007
Amazing, Intense, Surreal.

Like Paul Greengrass filming Eyes Wide Shut as directed by Richard Linklater
Super Reviewer
November 10, 2006
Such a crazy and amazing movie.
Critique Threatt
Super Reviewer
January 1, 2011
This might be my fave John Cassavetes picture. "Faces" is a painful look at the breakdowns of marriage and the breakdown of how people connect and separate through embaressment, lost, and regret. John Marley plays a business exe, has everything in life except how to love. He tells his wife(Lynn Carlin) he wants a divorce, leaves her to be with a hooker (Gena Rowlands) Carlin's character doesn't take the news well, goes to a go-go nightclub with her girlfriends, meets a fresh young hipster (Seymour Cassel) Carlin and Cassel scenes is a powerhouse that must have been exhausting to shoot over and over. If only society wouldn't have to make things so complicated in life we would love each other and be better in relationships a whole lot more.
littlecharmer1959
Super Reviewer
½ May 2, 2008
An excellent piece of cinema. It has an almost documentary style which makes you feel as if you are eavesdropping on real people in real situations. This of course is down to the brilliant acting, which is so raw and powerful. Cassavetes style won't be for everyone, but it's worth sitting through the 2 hours plus just for the acting alone.
shannylee38
Super Reviewer
February 17, 2007
Cassavetes created an interesting view from the men and women perspective of beginning, middle and end of a relationship.
½ November 7, 2015
A really captivating character study with superb performances from Gena Rowlands, Fred Rapper, Seymour Cassel, and Lynn Carlin. The writing, directing, and cinematography are equally superb
½ October 11, 2014
Thematically speaking Faces reminds me heavily of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? It follows the disintegration of a marriage between Richard and Maria. The big difference comes from the direction, where Woolf feels directed more as a stage play, with thoughtful long takes and a fairly still camera. Cassavetes throws us head first into the marital issues with a constantly moving camera, one that flows with the chaos or settles with the moments of tenderness. Cassavetes is fast becoming a favorite film maker of mine. He just has such a distinct and intense style that I could only describe as kinetic.
½ December 11, 2010
What camera captures with extreme close-up throughout the film is what's inside characters' minds. Masterwork! I'll watch this film again and again for the rest of my life, for sure.
½ September 9, 2010
i guess i'm on a kick. this is my fourth cassavetes. as intense as the others i've seen but (a little) less menacing and (somewhat) less intentionally inarticulate. grainy, edgy camerawork and terrific acting performances all around. i really need to buy the criterion box set.
½ August 7, 2010
John Cassavetes's Faces is a raw, surrealistic, uncompromising, and powerfully independent piece of cinema that explores postmodern malaise and the inability of people to truly communicate with one another. Hence, Faces is a film composed entirely of conversations--there is no real action per se other than a brief exchange of blows. Instead of action, we get a film about people trying and failing to communicate with one another: a couple whose relationship is dying, the couple trying to ignite new relationships, people who prove incapable of understanding one another, people who speak cruelly for no apparent reason, people who exchange their championship for money. Ultimately, no one ever truly understands anyone else in Faces. Its conversations are driven by alcohol, so they are in turns humorous, brutally honest, surreal, and sometimes nonsensical in a stream of consciousness way. But because the conversations are driven by alcohol they also also allow the characters to express themselves in the most uncensored, naked way possible. In the end, Faces is a powerful, bleak exploration of the failure of relationships and love and the onset of a peculiar form of ennui in the postmodern era.
March 14, 2010
OK, so he rolls around and cheats, then comes home to his wife and. . .she. . .I'm confused. Chet is one of the least charming characters I've seen in a while, too, but then again it was the '60s so his bizarre rhyming of "Florence" with insurance probably played better to a gang of drug-crazed hippies.
½ January 13, 2010
John Cassavetes's Faces is a raw, surrealistic, uncompromising, and powerfully independent piece of cinema that explores postmodern malaise and the inability of people to truly communicate with one another. Hence, Faces is a film composed entirely of conversations--there is no real action per se other than a brief exchange of blows. Instead of action, we get a film about people trying and failing to communicate with one another: a couple whose relationship is dying, the couple trying to ignite new relationships, people who prove incapable of understanding one another, people who speak cruelly for no apparent reason, people who exchange their companshionship for money. Ultimately, no one ever truly understands anyone else in Faces. Its conversations are driven by alcohol, so they are in turns humorous, brutally honest, surreal, and sometimes nonsensical in a stream of consciousness way. But because the conversations are driven by alcohol they also also allow the characters to express themselves in the most uncensored, naked way possible. In the end, Faces is a powerful, bleak exploration of the failure of relationships and love and the onset of a peculiar form of ennui in the postmodern era.
½ December 27, 2009
One of the most thrilling movies I've seen in a while. I love how Cassavetes lets a scene develop and play out, it's something that most people don't know how to do. And this movie is one of my favorite-shot movies ever. Seriously, the cinematography is amazing. I love the super-grainy 16mm and the handheld. And in the documentary they talk about a lot of stuff not being in focus because the actors were unpredictable, but I didn't notice it at all, not like Husbands (love that film though), but it's out of focus a lot. This movie, maybe because of the grainy, less resulution film, but it always looked sharp. That focus puller deserves the highest honors that can be bestowed upon a focus puller. Anyway, it looks awesome, it's acted awesome, written awesome. I loved it.
½ December 20, 2009
Very simply produced, but this is one powerful drama. Very well acted, especially by Semour Cassell and Lynn Carlin. It is not a feel good film by any means. Quite good, but John Cassavettes direction tends to be a little pretentious.
October 26, 2009
There maybe a moment or two where I was getting a little anxious. However, this is a 5 star picture. John Cassavetes practically pioneered american independent film and while he is not very well known in the mainstream, he continues to be discovered and his films also continue to inspire with their unflinching look into the lives of the characters he creates. And addition to his wife, Actress Gena Rowlands, who deserves a place among the greatest film actresses of all time for her performances in Cassavetes' films.
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