An older man leaves his wife for a younger woman, prompting
his wife to seek out a relationship with a younger man.
Written and Directed by John Cassavetes
Starring John Marley, Gena Rowlands, Lynn Carlin, Seymour Cassel, Fred Draper, Val Avery, Gene Darfler, Dorothy Gulliver
Oscar Nominations - Best Supporting Actor (Seymour Cassel),
Best Supporting Actress (Lynn Carlin), Best Original Screenplay
I have my own issues with artistically driven films. I like a solid narrative built on a strong story and character development. Artsy films tend to ignore all of that, point the camera, and hope for the best. Nine times out of ten, the film ends up being pretentious, dull, and often unwatchable. Faces is no exception. I've now seen two films by John Cassavetes, and I'm certain he is not a director I wish to pursue further. And that doesn't disparage his fans. If you like the guy, power through. But I know what I like and I know what puts me to sleep.
I hate having to decipher the bare-bones plot as we go along with films like this. Plus, all the characters are unlikable pieces of shit who enjoy ruining other peoples' lives. Richard Forst (Marley) is a businessman who is fed up with this marriage and leaves his wife Maria (Carlin). Richard goes out and pursues a prostitute he met earlier that night (Rowlands), and spends the night. Meanwhile, Maria goes dancing and picks up a young, enthusiastic man from Detroit named Chet (Cassel), and spends the night. The film ends with Richard and Maria having it out one last time, then smoking a cigarette on the stairs. Over two hours of angry white people yelling at each other for no discernable reason.
The late 60's and early 70's are full of films that wanted to express something different. I can respect that. Doesn't mean I have to enjoy the work. I prefer films with a story that drags you in, with a satisfying arc and well-written, fully fleshed out characters. Faces doesn't have enough to pull me in. There's no story, the characters are awful people, and the dialogue is nonsensical and pointless.