The Two Faces of January film with Greek delights

Two Faces of January

Starring Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst & Oscar Isaac

Rating 5/10


Athens, 1962 and a lovely American couple, Chester (Mortensen) and Colette (Dunst) MacFarland are having a smashing time touring the city. But Chester isn’t your average American man, he’s a con man! Soon they meet up with fellow dodgy American fella, Rydal Keener (Isaac) who becomes a sort of friend. 

Meanwhile, a private detective who is investigating Chester, ends up dead in the MacFarland’s appartment! Oops! Rydal seizes the opportunity to help the couple and takes them to a friend who can nab them some fake passports to get the rock out of there. From here violence gets more intense, assumptions lead to devastating consequences for almost all of the characters. It’s a wild ride that’s for sure.


I really, honestly thought this movie would be awesome. I’m a big fan of Mortensen and Dunst but this film was SO SO SO slow. Other reviews said it harked back to the good old days of caper adventure movies but it was not adventurous enough for me! And the caper part! Did I miss it? The acting was cool and the storyline shocking at times (thumbs up for the twist-factor) but it wasn’t enough.

There were many boring, so so slow sections where I spent more time wondering if I’d bought my new jacket across with me when we’d moved seats (because of the rude chewing, grunting man) or had I left it there? You know how it goes.

On the up side, I loved the landscape of Greece, the water, the handsome people but the story. Oh so slow (have I mentioned that yet?) But I guess if you want to see it, make sure you check it out on dvd with a really good glass of Ouzo and these amazing recipes. Here’s the preview…


Ah Greece. Even though this was not the best movie, its location makes it worth a look. Or an eat. Greek food is amazing, especially the seafood dishes. Which is why I’ve paired this film with this recipe: Grilled Octopus recipe from Mia Kouppa blog. Click through and get cooking! 

Note: Thanks to Helen and Billie from Mia Kouppa for permission to feature their stunning image and link to their scrumptious recipe.

The Two Faces of January trivia:

  • This movie is based on a book! It was a novel by Patricia Highsmith, written in 1964. I wonder what she would have thought of this movie?!
  • Locations included: Crete, Athens, Istanbul & some random studios in old London town.
  • Highsmith also wrote the book, The Talented Mr Ripley (sound familiar?) – now the pieces of the puzzle are all coming together. Weird, strange, long, slow movies. I sense a pattern.
  • Apparently she wasn’t a very happy or warm person in real life.

 Hungry for more? Check out these film and food combos:


  1. Have to disagree with you on this one! I really enjoyed this movie, it was well acted and beautifully filmed and I thought the tension built evenly throughout. It was clever how your sympathies changed throughout the twists and turns of the plot. Maybe we are too used to movies set in times when communication is fast – a mobile phone and some Internet would have really changed the plot on this one and it would have had to be faster paced!
    But I do love your food choices!

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed it, Elizabeth! It’s so funny how differently we can all see the one movie. Maybe I was in the wrong mood for it thanks to the loudly slurping man behind me LOL! Thanks for your comment.

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