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The Face of Love (2014)



Average Rating: 5.2/10
Reviews Counted: 58
Fresh: 24 | Rotten: 34

Perhaps worth checking out if only for the opportunity to see reliably powerful work from Annette Bening and Ed Harris, The Face of Love undermines its leads' performances with a scattershot script and aimless direction.


Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critic Reviews: 25
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 15

Perhaps worth checking out if only for the opportunity to see reliably powerful work from Annette Bening and Ed Harris, The Face of Love undermines its leads' performances with a scattershot script and aimless direction.



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Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 1,372

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Movie Info

FACE OF LOVE is the story of a widow named Nikki (Annette Bening) who, several years after the loss of her husband Garrett, meets a man named Tom (Ed Harris) who looks exactly like her deceased husband. Suddenly, a flood of old feelings rush back to her: she's met the love of her life. Again. The film is a romantic story filled with humor, surprise, and reflections on the mystery of love surrounding us. Bening and Harris star, with an important supporting turn from Robin Williams as Nikki's


Drama, Romance, Comedy

Matthew McDuffie, Arie Posin

Jul 15, 2014


IFC Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (58) | Top Critics (25) | Fresh (24) | Rotten (34)

The Face of Love's story runs and blotches like cheap mascara.

April 18, 2014 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Many are going to find the plot questionable and the protagonist's actions deplorable. But for those who've experienced loss and grief that seems irreparable, it is a film that will strike a deep and melancholy chord.

April 17, 2014 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Old age, romance, grief, delusion and desperation all intersect in "The Face of Love," a far-fetched tale that nevertheless manages to be affecting.

April 10, 2014 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What's mesmerizing here is what happens in Bening's eyes, in her complicated smiles, in her eloquent quiet.

March 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Bening and Harris are great actors, and they fill their roles as completely as they can, given the limitations of the soggy and implausible script by Matthew McDuffie and director Arie Posin.

March 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Like so much about this film, the finale hints at Hitchcock but settles for soap opera.

March 27, 2014 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Face of Love is light on impact ... and could have been so much more than it wound up being.

September 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Under the Radar
Under the Radar

A slightly soporific, shapeless drama that does contain some fine performances from the reliable Annette Bening and Ed Harris.

June 26, 2014 Full Review Source:

It says something for the excellent work of Bening, Harris and Weixler that this basically absurd melodrama succeeds as well as it does.

June 19, 2014 Full Review Source: The Australian
The Australian

When [Harris] tells Bening he "could take a bath in the way you look at me," you just might have heard the worst line of 2014.

June 11, 2014 Full Review Source: Herald Sun (Australia)
Herald Sun (Australia)

There is something very dispiriting in watching talent [Ed Harris & Annette Bening] struggling to save something as ill-conceived as this.

June 4, 2014 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

Love may be lovelier the second time around but has never been as complicated when the past and present are juxtaposed at impossible angles. Top flight performances from Annette Bening & Ed Harris counter the preposterous premise

May 24, 2014 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

While Ed Harris and Annette Bening do share decent on-screen chemistry, their illogical behavior and almost humorous conclusion leave you feeling disappointed and unsatisfied.

April 25, 2014 Full Review Source:

If your way of dealing with grief is basically to decide that anything you do is fine as long it gets you back on your feet, you are essentially a sociopath.

April 24, 2014 Full Review Source: National Post
National Post

The drama comes in Bening's subtle shifts from joy to embarrassment to fear. It's the face of love lost, and it's the one thing you can believe.

April 17, 2014 Full Review Source:

For all the hard-fought realism, brilliant performances, and the feelings stirred up by the themes of mortality and late-life romance, there is the inescapable silliness of the central conceit.

April 16, 2014 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

Through it all, we watch Bening trying very hard to produce a parsable, credible performance while having to behave in bizarre ways.

April 10, 2014 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Does 'The Face of Love' belong to Annette Bening? If you're speaking of an ideal, the answer is debatable; if you're speaking of the new movie with that name, the answer is most definitely yes.

April 10, 2014 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

"The Face of Love" is a serious look at grief and finding romance after losing the person most important to you.

April 1, 2014 Full Review Source: Oregonian

The real takeaway here is how good Bening and Harris are, especially at an age when Hollywood starts putting actors out to pasture with supporting roles and bit parts.

March 28, 2014 Full Review Source: Suburban Journals of St. Louis
Suburban Journals of St. Louis

This movie has a major identity crisis going on.

March 27, 2014 Full Review Source: Tucson Weekly
Tucson Weekly

Audience Reviews for The Face of Love

Five years after her husband Garrett(Ed Harris) drowned in Mexico, Nikki(Annette Bening) is still very much grieving. But she feels well enough so that her daughter Summer(Jess Weixler) can return to her chaotic life in Seattle while Roger(Robin Williams), a family friend, comes by to use the pool. In any case, Nikki decides to visit the art museum she used to go to with her husband. While there, she sees Tom(Ed Harris), a dead ringer for Garrett.

To be honest, "The Face of Love" would have worked much better as a short story which would not only have kept things ambiguous, but could have ended long before the story ended up running into a wall. Visualizing this concept would have been tricky under the best of circumstances which this is clearly not. But what makes the movie more than a little watchable and sort of worthwhile is the abundant charisma of and chemistry between its two lead actors. Now, if I could only figure what Robin Williams is supposed to be doing here.
March 10, 2014
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Annette Bening and Ed Harris up against pure corn and soap.
June 8, 2014
hawk ledge

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

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  • The Face of Love (UK)
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