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The Face of Love

“Annette Bening and Ed Harris bring a potent sense of conviction to director Arie Posin’s strangely compelling psychological love story. The sort of sincere romantic drama that would have fit snugly alongside the classic women’s pictures of the 1930s and ’40s, this tale of a still-grieving widow (Bening) hypnotized by a dead ringer for her late husband ultimately succeeds at conveying one person’s complicated yet emotionally rational response to a highly irrational situation.
“The script opens with flashbacks recalling the perfect marriage of Los Angeles couple Nikki (Bening) and Garrett (Harris), whose happy union of 30 years ended tragically. Five years later, Nikki still hasn’t fully recovered from her loss. Nikki already has a habit of seeing her husband wherever she looks, but for once her eyes aren’t playing tricks on her when she heads on a whim to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and finds herself face-to-face with Garrett’s double and follows him to the college where he teaches a painting class.
“Posin remains sympathetically attuned to his heroine’s every move as she asks the man, Tom, if she can enroll in his class, only to break down weeping before making a hasty exit. Bening registers each tremulous shift of emotion as Nikki moves from disbelief to determination to sudden embarrassment at the absurdity of her actions.
“Tom begins giving Nikki private lessons, but it doesn’t take long for them to progress beyond a student-teacher relationship, nursing their growing attraction over wine and art. The story maintains a steady undercurrent of dramatic interest as Nikki, in hiding the fact of Tom’s resemblance to Garrett, can’t help but deceive him and possibly herself. It all builds inevitably to Nikki’s reckoning with the consequences of her feelings and actions.”- USA Today

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