Review / ‘The Face of Love’ (M) ***

IN his second feature, director and co-writer (with Matthew McDuffie) Arie Posin stretches credulity close to bursting point. Never mind. It just possibly might be possible.

the face of loveAnnette Bening plays Nikki, living in the California house designed by her beloved husband of 30 years Gareth (Ed Harris) who drowned five years previously. In an art gallery, she’s gobsmacked when a passing man looks exactly like Gareth. As well he might, because Ed Harris also plays art teacher Tom.

Posin says he got the idea for the story from his mother who thought she saw her late husband crossing the road one day. Nikki contrives to meet Tom. Love blooms. Nikki shares with us the secret that she withholds from everyone else in her life, Tom most of all. Her adult daughter (Jess Weixler) lives in Seattle. Her divorced next-door neighbour Roger (Robin Williams) with friendship-based paddling rights in her swimming pool has a yearning for a relationship.

Much of the film is a bland observation of two people getting good things from love. Tom’s daughter drops his secret to keep us on edge while we wait to find which of the pair will reveal his/her secret first. And what that will do to love.

Bening, now in her late 50s, looks delectable. And she’s a damn fine actress. Harris has always delivered solid performances. Jess Weixler’s hissy fit is fun and slightly scary to watch.

At Palace Electric



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