The Face of Love (2013 film)

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The Face of Love
The Face of Love poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byArie Posin
Produced byBonnie Curtis
Julie Lynn
Written byArie Posin
Matthew McDuffie
StarringAnnette Bening
Ed Harris
Robin Williams
Amy Brenneman
Jess Weixler
Linda Park
Music byMarcelo Zarvos
CinematographyAntonio Riestra
Edited byMatt Maddox
Mockingbird Pictures
Distributed byIFC Films
Release date
  • September 12, 2013 (2013-09-12) (TIFF)
  • March 7, 2014 (2014-03-07) (United States)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited States
Box office$1,500,147[1]

The Face of Love is a 2013 American romantic drama film directed by Arie Posin and co-written by Matthew McDuffie. The film stars Annette Bening, Ed Harris, Robin Williams, Amy Brenneman, Jess Weixler and Linda Park. It was screened in the Special Presentation section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.[2]


Nikki (Bening) is a recent widow whose husband, Garret (Ed Harris), died in a drowning accident and who has not yet gotten over it. Objects, people and situations that remind Nikki of the love of her life still haunt her. Resigned to life alone, Nikki visits an art gallery she often frequented with Garret and sees a man (Harris in a dual role) whose resemblance to her husband stuns her. She returns to the gallery several more times, hoping to see him. Eventually, Nikki identifies him as a professor at a small local college. She finds "Tom" on the internet and visits an art class he is teaching; but she is emotionally overwhelmed and flees. Eventually, Nikki calms down and invites Tom to give her private, at home, tutoring in painting. She doesn't disclose to him his physical resemblance to her late husband.

Nikki and Tom become lovers, to the emotional distress of her neighbor (Robin Williams), who has hoped to attract her interest romantically since the death of Garret, his friend. The strain of keeping Tom a secret from her friends and family, who would immediately recognize the uncanny resemblance, begins to wear on Nikki, Tom, and the relationship. Nikki is not alone in keeping secrets in the relationship. Tom, who is divorced for 10 years from his ex-wife yet still maintains a close friendship with her, does not tell Nikki he suffers from a severe heart ailment. When Nikki’s adult daughter Summer visits unexpectedly, finding Tom at the house, she flies into a rage repulsed by Tom’s appearance. Tom believes her outrage is triggered simply by his presence. Tom, puzzled by the daughter's reaction, accepts when Nikki asks him to fly off to Mexico with her. At a resort often visited by Garret and Nikki when they were married, Tom discovers a photo of Nikki and her husband by the bar, notices the resemblance and also realizes that a psychologically imbalanced Nikki has brought him to the very place her husband died. Tom confronts her with the resemblance and Nikki runs off into the raging surf, perhaps to commit suicide. She is rescued by Tom and they later hold one another in bed with the knowledge the relationship isn't based in anything more than his physical similarities to Garret and is doomed.

A year later, Summer finds an art gallery card in Nikki's mail that turns out to be an invitation to a memorial display of Tom's art. Tom has died of his heart condition but produced an outpouring of art in his last year. Nikki attends the reception hosted by Tom's ex-wife and tearfully sees Tom's painting of the two of them titled "The Face of Love".




The film was shot in Los Angeles in 2012, and produced by Mockingbird Pictures.


In May 2013 IFC Films acquired the rights of the film to distribute in the United States.[3] The film was released in September 2013.[4]


On Rotten Tomatoes, The Face of Love has an approval rating of 43% based on 68 reviews, with a rating of 5.2/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Perhaps worth checking out if only for the opportunity to see reliably powerful work from Annette Bening and Ed Harris, The Face of Love undermines its leads' performances with a scattershot script and aimless direction."[5] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 51 out of 100, based on 24 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews ".[6]


  1. ^ "The Face of Love". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved July 5, 2014.
  2. ^ "The Face of Love". TIFF. Retrieved 2013-08-15.
  3. ^ "IFC Films Buys 'The Face of Love'". 16 May 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  4. ^ "Cannes: IFC Lands 'The Face Of Love'". 16 May 2013. Retrieved 25 July 2013.
  5. ^ "The Face of Love". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2015-04-23.
  6. ^ "The Face of Love Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 2015-04-23.

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