- Elginism - http://www.elginism.com -

The Athenian Acropolis as a movie backdrop

In recent years, there has been much debate [1] about the decision by Greece’s government to make it easier for commersial filming to take place on the Acropolis.

These decision to free up the access to the site appear to be gradually producing visible benefits, with new films using the backdrop of the Parthenon as a key part of their story.

Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst in ‘The Two Faces of January’ [2]

Viggo Mortensen and Kirsten Dunst in ‘The Two Faces of January’

Independent (Ireland) [3]

Cinema Reviews: ‘The Two Faces of January’
Cert 12A

Padraic McKiernan, Hilary A White, Aine O’Connor – Published 11 May 2014 02:30 AM
Reviewed this week are ‘The Two Faces of January’, ‘In Bloom’, ‘A Thousand Times Goodnight’, ‘A Winter Chill’ and ‘In Secret’.

With a title that bears reference to a two-faced Roman god and a stunning backdrop that takes in some of Ancient Greece’s most famous ruins, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to read there’s a certain mythic quality to the story that unfolds in director Hossein Amini’s engaging thriller.

Featuring a stellar cast that includes Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen and Oscar Isaac, the action commences in the Parthenon where Athens-based US tour guide Rydal Keener (Isaac) is regaling his rapt listeners with tales of mythic figures and the “cruel tricks gods play on men”.

Rydal’s work as a tour guide brings him into contact with a rich American couple, Chester MacFarland (Mortensen) and his wife Colette (Dunst). Their shared ex-pats-abroad familiarity leads to a night out in Athens and a loose commitment to look each other up when they get back to the US.

Alas, the gods are not finished with this trio. It seems that Chester’s finances are not as fabulous as he would have us believe and, when he needs some local knowledge to escape the attention of a private investigator sent to confront him, Rydal answers the call. Big mistake.

What was intended as a favour somehow morphs into a police manhunt in which Rydal finds himself a prime suspect for a murder he didn’t commit.

Impeccable production values and pitch perfect performances ensure engagement levels remain high. These positives, however, don’t fully compensate for a spectacle that lurches uncomfortably close to melodrama towards the conclusion.

Release date is May 16