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Annette Bening and Ed Harris in The Face of Love.

Annette Bening says it was "fascinating" exploring what it feels like to have a romantic courtship at a more mature age with her new film The Face of Love.

The drama, which is making its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, stars Bening as a widow who loses her grip on reality when she tries to get romantically close to a painter who looks exactly like her late husband.

Both the late husband and artist are played by Ed Harris in the drama that's directed and co-written by Arie Posin.

Robin Williams co-stars as Nikki's widower neighbour, who's also her close friend.

The 55-year-old Bening says Nikki's situation really hit her during a scene in which she asks the painter over to her house.

"For me, because I've been married now for over 20 years, I haven't been in that situation in so long," says the four-time Oscar nominee, who wed Warren Beatty in 1992 and has four children with him.

"I have friends who are in that [situation] – they're divorced or they've lost their spouse and they're seeing somebody new. One of my best girlfriends is in that situation, so she has sort of a new-ish boyfriend."

Bening says she discovered dating at an older age "is the same and different."

"It's like the same from when you were a younger person, but then you have all these years of life experience and yet the falling in love and that insane thing that happens when you're attracted to a person, that you can't explain, that every song is written about and all these stories are about – it happens just the same."

The Toronto International Film Festival runs through Sunday.