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Annette Bening explores mature romance in The Face of Love

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.

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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.

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