TIFF 2013 Review: The Face of Love
The Face of Love
One of three doppelgänger movies this year at TIFF (a bit odd, don’t you think?), this version on a curious theme tips its toe in the proverbial water, but doesn’t want to jump in. One of the lookalikes in The Face of Love, however is all too happy to do so, taking a dip in the opening scene whilst drunk, stoned, and on vacation.
It’s a fatal one, as Gareth (Ed Harris), celebrating his 30th wedding anniversary with his wife Nikki (Annette Bening) drowns at night in Mexico. Nikki finds him on the beach, and slowly begins a grieving process that never seems to end.
Five years later and she sees Gareth at an art gallery, only he’s not Gareth, he’s Tom. Nikki follows, engages, charms, and embarks down a strange path that at times is fascinating but too cautious. Nikki is all sorts of emotions – excited, nostalgic, melancholic, confused – and rightly so, but she steadily proceeds to have Tom fill in the role of her deceased husband, while trying to keep him a secret from her nosy neighbor and daughter. She tells Tom her husband has left, and he has no idea what Gareth looks like.
It’s simply not potent enough. Nikki astounds, comically and dramatically, but the film only touches on some dark moments that should be far more intense and serious. While there are many moments to change course, we’re taken down the safest, surest route – an unfortunately very familiar one.
Thursday September 12 – Visa Screening Room (Elgin) – 6:00 PM
Friday September 13 – Scotiabank 14 – 3:00 PM