The Face of Love (2014)
Critic Consensus: 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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Critic Reviews for The Face of Love
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.
Bening and Harris pour so much genuine emotion into their roles in this Vertigo-like romantic melodrama that they just about carry the film's fanciful premise.
Both leads take on the task of the dysfunctional couple admirably, but their efforts crash against a stubbornly creaky script.
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.
The intention was surely a love story but here we have creepiness as a woman pursues a man who looks exactly like her dead husband. The actors work well however in that creepiness up until the film makers take the easy out of an ending with a bow on top.
Annette Bening and Ed Harris up against pure corn and soap.
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