Thursday, 17 April 2014

THE FACE OF LOVE - Review By Greg Klymkiw and Julia Klymkiw - Thanks to Mongrel Media and Star PR for facilitating the opportunity for The Film Corner to launch this new regular feature called IN THIS (FILM) CORNER WITH DADDY & JULIA. And now, here's the very his first father-daughter team review.

The Face of Love is a romantic drama from director and co-writer Arie Posin about a husband (Ed Harris) and wife (Annette Bening) whose love is cut short when the woman's husband drowns.

Years later, she continues to rebuff romantic overtures from her husband's best friend (Robin Williams) and instead embarks on a very strange and romantic journey when she meets a man (Ed Harris) who is his double.

The requisite weirdness ensues. - G.K.

THE FACE OF LOVE (2014) Dir. Arie Posin
Starring: Annette Bening, Ed Harris, Robin Williams

By Greg Klymkiw (Daddy) and Julia Klymkiw (Daughter)
Transcript of a critical conversation between Greg Klymkiw and Julia Klymkiw on April 17, 2014
(Star Ratings From Dad and Julia at the end of the piece.)

Julia: I loved that movie.

Greg: Uh, why?

Julia: I thought it was great. The whole concept of it was just so weird and the writer and director told a story that was full of important story beats that if you missed any of it, you'd really be losing out. You know how some movies you can go out to get candy or go to the washroom and when you get back, it really doesn't matter that you missed anything, but with this movie, if you did that, you could really get lost for awhile and it would spoil what's great about the movie. It's kinda like a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle. If you're missing a few pieces it looks pretty stupid.

Greg: I can think of more than a few movies like that.

Julia: Yeah, like, really.

Greg: Did you genuinely think The Face of Love was that original?

Julia: I remember seeing a few movies like it, but this one is different because it was unbelievable and believable at the same time. The unbelievable part was that it wasn't unreal or you know, phoney, but that through the movie so many things happen that are, like, you can't believe this lady is doing what she's doing. It's unbelievably real and believably unreal. Here's someone who's married to this wonderful man, he dies and then she's so super-sad that she can't really get him out of her head. When she meets a guy who looks just like him, she follows him around and when they get to meet each other he's instantly attracted to her. What Annette Bening does next though is really dumb. Instead of telling him the truth, she makes up stories about her husband. She kind of creates this whole different person who didn't exist so that Ed Harris, this lookalike can somehow take the place of her husband as if nothing happened. All the way through the movie I was squirming . . .

Greg: I noticed.

Julia: Well it was so emotional. I kept wanting to yell at the screen and tell her not to do what she was doing.

Greg: I remember how you kept turning to look at me with your mouth wide open and how you would make these nutty noises like you were hyper-ventilating.

Julia: It wasn't that bad, Dad. You get so crazy when we watch movies. If someone drops a pin you hear it and want to punch them in the face.

Greg: Your exaggerating.

Julia: DAD! You say that all the time.

Greg: Well, it's not that bad.

Julia: Dad, I've seen you yell at people in the movie theatre and throw stuff at them if they're eating too loud or even whispering.

Greg: Okay, okay. Maybe a little, but back to the movie, what did you think was so suspenseful about it?

Julia: Well, it was suspenseful, but not like in a horror movie. It wasn't scary or anything. It was suspenseful in that way that watching real people do stuff they shouldn't be doing - well, I guess that happens in horror movies too, but this was more like real life and when you see that kind of thing going on in real life situations in the movies, you think that maybe it's something that could really happen. I really liked both of these characters and in real life I think I'd like them too, but so much so that I'd be wanting things to work out for them and to feel like I didn't want bad stuff to happen. But every time Annette Bening does something crazy and lie to him and other people, I felt sorry for Ed Harris, but I also felt sorry for her because I kept thinking how being more truthful might have made things different for both of them.

Greg: I don't know. I found the movie enjoyable enough, but all through it I kept thinking it was ripping off Vertigo but for no good reason. It was like Alfred Hitchcock deciding he wanted to make a soap opera for housewives sitting at home with curlers in their hair and stuffing bonbons down their throats when they should be sweeping the floor.

Julia: DAD!!! That's so sexist! I can't believe you sometimes. Besides, The Face of Love is a totally different movie than Vertigo. Alfred Hitchcock makes movies that are really scary. The suspense in them is way different than in a realistic movie.

Greg: You don't think Vertigo is realistic?

Julia: Yeah, but in a different way. When Jimmy Stewart is following that girl around and then tries to make her look more like the girl he thinks is dead, that's like, sick. And yeah, Annette Bening is sick too. She's sick with sadness.

Greg: Well, so's Jimmy Stewart.

Julia: Dad, it's different. In Vertigo, it's the same girl. In The Face of Love, Ed Harris is really playing two completely different people. That's way different. And it's not supposed to be scary like Hitchcock. It's more like real life, like people any of us could know now.

Greg: Your Dad knows a few people like Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo.

Julia: Yeah, and you guys are so sick. I've seen those movies you made with Guy [Maddin].

Greg: Well, be that as it may . . .

Julia: Dad, face it. This movie is amazing. So's Vertigo, but face it, Dad, face it. They're two different movies. Oh, by the way, I love the actors in The Face of Love. I don't think I've seen Annette Bening in too many movies, but it's kind of cool that two weeks ago you showed me The Right Stuff when Ed Harris was so young and playing that famous astronaut. I can see how Ed Harris could play that role and so long later in his life play one like in The Face of Love. In this movie, he really does a great job because he plays two different characters. Yes, they look the same and they're both very gentle and loving men, but the husband is definitely his own kind of guy. He's way more outgoing and his lookalike seems very shy.

There's also the difference that the second Ed Harris character is an artist. It's so romantic when he looks at her, because she is the thing that inspires him to do his art again instead of just teaching it. I almost cried in the scene where Annette Bening looks at the painting he's done of her. It's like he's been looking at her like a piece of art, but art that comes from inside him. I sure wish the movie had just ended on the face of love, which was her face on the painting instead of when the director cuts back to her. That would have been way better I think.

Oh, and I loved seeing Robin Williams as the next door neighbour and best friend of the Ed Harris character who died. He was so sweet and goofy and it's sort of sad that he loves Annette Bening, but that to her, he's not only the friend of her dead husband, but he's more like a brother to her. She likes him, maybe she even loves him, but it's never going to be the way two people love each other when they really love each other.

Greg: One thing I'll say in the movie's favour is that it's about adults.

Julia: That's really true. It's great seeing movies about young people, but it's way more interesting when you see people who have lived so much longer and experience stuff in a different way from when they're young.

Greg: Well, it's not like either actor is that old . . .

Julia: I know. Especially Annette Bening. She's really young compared to Ed Harris.

Greg: Well, there's definitely an age difference between them. How old do you think Annette Bening is?

Julia: I don't know. Maybe 30.

Greg: Annette Bening would probably love to give you a big hug right now. She's pretty much the same age as Dad is.

Julia: Really? I can't believe that.

Greg: Well, that's movie stars for you.

Julia: Wow! Annette Benning is so cool. She's really beautiful and such a great actress. I really felt bad for her because even though I know she's doing the wrong thing with Ed Harris, I can understand it and I believed it the way she plays the role. When I was watching it, I remember looking at Annette Bening - I think it's when she's looking at Ed Harris when he doesn't know she's looking at him and the look on her face was just so real. And you know, I really understand what her character is going through. When Snowy [Julia's Bichon Frise] was killed by the car, every time I saw a dog that looked like her, I'd want to pick it up and cuddle it and sometimes I did, but then I'd cry, because it wasn't Snowy.

During The Face of Love, I kept hoping Annette would realize that you can't ever bring back something that's dead. You can remember it and still love it and have those great memories, but when it's gone, it's gone. You know, looking at Annette's face while she looks at Ed Harris, I actually remember thinking during the movie how snowflakes can look so beautiful and maybe sometimes there are things similar about them, but snowflakes are always different. You can never really find any two that are identical no matter how much you might love how one looks before it melts away.

You need to hold on to the memory of that special snowflake, because it's not going to be here forever, except maybe in your memory.

The Face of Love is in limited release via Mongrel Media.
The Film Corner ratings are as follows:
Julia: ***½
Dad: **