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film review

The Face of Love.

Nikki (Annette Bening), still grieving the husband she lost five years ago (Ed Harris), spies a man who looks exactly like him (also played by Mr. Harris) and something in her snaps. She pursues him, dates him, and even starts to fall for him, all while keeping the resemblance a secret from him, and him a secret from both her daughter and her best friend (a nicely subdued Robin Williams). For a moment, the film threatens to take a turn into crazy-woman town. Thankfully, strong performances from the leads keep the film from sinking into melodrama. By the end, you realize you're watching something more mature, and infinitely sadder. The dead can't come back, no matter how much we long for them, and some pain never goes away.

At VIFF: Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m., Playhouse; 9:15 p.m., Centre in Vancouver for Performing Arts