The Face of Love

(USA, 2013, 92 mins, DCP)
Cast Annette Bening, Ed Harris, Robin Williams, Amy Brenneman, Jess Weixler
EXEC PRODS Benjamin Castellano-Wood, Theresa Castellano-Wood, Paige Dunham, Maxine P. Lynn, Ruth Mutch, Amy Lynn Quinn, Les Ware, Amy Ware
PRODS Bonnie Curtis, Julie Lynn
SCR Matthew McDuffie, Arie Posin
CAM Antonio Riestra
ED Matt Maddox
PROD DES Jeannine Claudia Oppewall
MUS Marcelo Zarvos
PROD CO Mockingbird Pictures


Annette Bening has always brought an emotional toughness to her best roles, so it’s remarkable in The Face of Love to watch her play a woman on the verge of breaking. Working opposite the always-reliable Ed Harris, she is as precise as ever, but her performance here also reveals a surprising vulnerability. This is a film that demands to be seen by all who count themselves fans.

Five years after the death of her beloved husband Garrett (Ed Harris), Nikki (Bening) meets a man who seems his exact duplicate. Not only does this stranger possess the same deeply lined face and startling blue eyes, he also shares Garrett’s kindness, humour, and passion for art. And yet he is a stranger.

Romance blossoms… but she can’t bring herself to tell him the truth about what drew her to him. So she hides her photos and prevents him from meeting friends and family. Still, she can’t resist taking him to all the old haunts. It isn’t a question of if the truth will come out, but when.

The premise of The Face of Love is intriguing to anyone who’s found it hard to shake the hold of a lost lover. But it’s the performances that make this film resonate. Robin Williams is affecting in a supporting role as a friend of Nikki’s who yearns for something closer. Harris, who plays both husband and lover, delivers subtly different characterizations. And Bening is a pleasure to watch in every scene…—Cameron Bailey, Toronto International Film Festival

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