(R, 2:09:53, Released 1968)
|Release Date:||Nov 24, 1968|
|DVD Release Date:||Apr 6, 1999|
|Starring:||John Marley, Gena Rowlands, Lynn Carlin, Seymour Cassel, Frederick Draper, Val Avery, Dorothy Gulliver, Joanne Moore Jordan, Gene Darfler, Darlene Conley|
|Directed by:||John Cassavetes|
|Synopsis:||Faces is right: this definitive John Cassavetes film consists almost exclusively of tight, uncomfortable close-ups. It takes place in the fourteenth year of the marriage of Richard (John Marley) and Maria (Lynn Carlin). Neither husband nor wife is content with the conditions that prevail; Maria joins her friends looking for romantic satisfaction elsewhere, while Richard secures the services of a prostitute (Gena Rowlands). Maria herself has a one-night stand with a hippie (Seymour Cassel), but this is no more satisfying than her dead-end marriage. If you think that Faces is an exhausting experience in its current 130-minute length, imagine what it looked like in Cassavetes' original six-hour cut. Alternately clumsy and profound, it is nonetheless a work of deep sincerity, as recognized by the Venice Film Festival, which bestowed no fewer than five awards on the film, and it perfectly exemplifies Cassavetes' improvisational, cinéma vérité style and searching explorations of modern relationships. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi|
|Full movie details|
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Other Top Reviews
October 22, 2013
Cassavetes' first endeavor into the world of marriage, with his second feature film, yielded a humane glimpse into the lives of two impossibly unhappy people who think they understand happiness. The husband believes he understands that a fourteen year marriage, security, and repetition makes for an unhappy person, and so he leaves his wife in the middle of the night to fall into the arms of a younger woman. The wife believes she is happy already, and though shocked by her husband's request, knows to find it elsewhere while she still can. Both of them journey back into the night to find people to give them their satisfaction, their happiness, but sadly they both find that the crumbling of a decade long marriage does not relinquish them from one another. What comes of the wide scope and interesting subject matter covered, is a film that speaks about how uncomfortable we all are when we're placed in our separate boxes, and how happiness is relative and finite. The camera follows each of them as they find others to spend the night with. Richard (Marley) falls back in with a group of people who think they're completely different than anyone else, and have found happiness in greed, sex, and wealth. Jeannie (Rapp) finds appeal in alcohol, being out with other women, and youth. Both husband and wife believe that being with someone younger predicates happiness, and that decision proves fatal to one and heartbreaking to the other. Cassavetes made a film that is ungodly uncomfortable to watch from beginning to end. It is the epitome of people going through a mid-life crisis, though Jeannie is only putting on a show for her husband to show she doesn't care. Neither of them finds what they're looking for by the end of the film, and both probably regret the actions they took the night before, but it seems that neither will admit anything either. In the last scene we're left with disillusionment as both find themselves changed by the night before, but remain silent and pensive. It's clear that Cassavetes wants us to examine ourselves, and what we perceive as happiness, as romance, but not in such a one sided approach as society has dictated. Though many characters ramble and it feels inconsistent at times, it is a good portrait of a couple who have lost their way.
June 29, 2013
I wasn't terribly impressed. Yes, it's filmed beautifully and the black and white is effective. But to me, it's two hours of people getting drunk and dribbling s$&t. And the drunken singing, dear god, make it stop.
I'm not an idiot who can't appreciate films as art and likes everything nicey nice with a happy ending. Some of my favourite movies are dark as hell. This, however, is just too long and it's irritating. If I wanted to watch drunken fools, I could go hang out down the pub.
I was interested in the premise of an unhappy couple and the monotony of suburbia, but these weren't like regular people. I thought this theme was done very well in Revolutionary Road, and I guess I thought this might be in the same vein.
To top it all off, the mono sound meant I had to watch the whole movie with subtitles on because I could hardly understand what anyone was saying. (Then I felt like maybe I should switch them off again as maybe it would be preferable to the nonsense they were actually talking).
Even having a hooker as a character couldn't make this interesting.
This movie seems very popular, but I can't believe it's just me.
August 4, 2012
Cassavetes' probing look at dissolving marriages in the face of suburban malaise may be overlong and excessive, but it's unflinchingly honest at every turn. He's the master of letting scenes develop while simultaneously deconstructing them. Faces may not be his best film, but his directorial prowess is on full display. Cinema verite at its best.
December 8, 2010
John Cassavetes's style is the epitome of cool, even when focusing on raw and awkward subjects like adultery and suicide, he somehow makes it look good without passing judgement or glamorising it. Faces isn't meant to be comfortable viewing and at that it succeeds but it also wont let you look away even for a second. That is Cassavetes's greatest skill. He also, as ever, has a brilliant cast of friends that understand him and perform accordingly. Brilliant film, hugely influential too.
January 28, 2008
When I saw it, I had never and have still never seen much like it.
January 14, 2008
Amazing, Intense, Surreal.
Like Paul Greengrass filming Eyes Wide Shut as directed by Richard Linklater
November 10, 2006
Such a crazy and amazing movie.
January 1, 2011
This might be my fave John Cassavetes picture. "Faces" is a painful look at the breakdowns of marriage and the breakdown of how people connect and separate through embaressment, lost, and regret. John Marley plays a business exe, has everything in life except how to love. He tells his wife(Lynn Carlin) he wants a divorce, leaves her to be with a hooker (Gena Rowlands) Carlin's character doesn't take the news well, goes to a go-go nightclub with her girlfriends, meets a fresh young hipster (Seymour Cassel) Carlin and Cassel scenes is a powerhouse that must have been exhausting to shoot over and over. If only society wouldn't have to make things so complicated in life we would love each other and be better in relationships a whole lot more.
May 2, 2008
An excellent piece of cinema. It has an almost documentary style which makes you feel as if you are eavesdropping on real people in real situations. This of course is down to the brilliant acting, which is so raw and powerful. Cassavetes style won't be for everyone, but it's worth sitting through the 2 hours plus just for the acting alone.
March 7, 2007
Cassavetes created an interesting view from the men and women perspective of beginning, middle and end of a relationship.
March 14, 2010
OK, so he rolls around and cheats, then comes home to his wife and. . .she. . .I'm confused. Chet is one of the least charming characters I've seen in a while, too, but then again it was the '60s so his bizarre rhyming of "Florence" with insurance probably played better to a gang of drug-crazed hippies.
December 20, 2009
Very simply produced, but this is one powerful drama. Very well acted, especially by Semour Cassell and Lynn Carlin. It is not a feel good film by any means. Quite good, but John Cassavettes direction tends to be a little pretentious.
August 31, 2009
This movie is the standard upon which all reality-based film-making today should be compared to -- nothing comes close to it. It was s-o-o ahead of it's time. The lead women characters / actresses are stunningly beautiful and embody that classical Hollywood beauty of old. But what stood out most for me about this film is the purity of substance in theme; of what is deemed as "a good time"; which consists of nothing more than people's company, some booze, and the non-existence of access to the internet.
March 17, 2009
I always felt as if I were in the room with the characters, interacting with them as a part of the complex sociology they inhabit. And something was so eerily familiar.
It's amazingly lifelike, and it echoes a part of my life that I'm not proud of. Apartments full of intoxicated people rambling, arguing, falling in and out of love with each other. This is life. This is the complexity that all film should strive for. It's so fucking good that I'm still high on it, and it's actually making me feel less fucked over about this mysterious DVD situation. Which is a good thing -- because in the film we see why humans fuck each other over, why we're awful and terrible things, just through our simple choice to betray.
Betrayal. John understood it, but didn't take sides - he took care with angles and lighting. The camera comes to terms with the story though the final shot on the stairway, which is the single best shot in the history of cinema. It moved me and endeared me.
December 20, 2007
My second Cassavetes, it's definitely superior to Shadows. Like his first film it has a very raw, edgy feel with great performances by all the actors. John Cassavetes lends such great depths to all of them as we see how emotionally dissatisfied they are beneath their hollow laughter and content facades.