27 dic. 2013

My Review: The Best Offer (8/10)

"Emotions are like a work of art. They can be forged they seem just like the original but they are forgery."

The Best Offer is Giuseppe Tornatore's latest film which also happens to be his first one in English. The Italian director will forever be known for his love letter to cinema in 1988 when he directed Cinema Paradiso, a true homage to film. He is a talented filmmaker who seems to always be in control of his craft. The Best Offer may not be a masterpiece, and will probably be forgotten amongst his filmography, but it is a very good thriller with a strong performance from Geoffrey Rush in the lead role. Somehow despite knowing exactly where the film was heading halfway through the movie, it still kept me interested and the 131 minutes went by really fast thanks to great pacing. The story is rather predictable and the film is far from being groundbreaking, but the art direction is so beautiful that it is simply a film to admire. Just like the many art paintings we see in this movie, you don't get tired of watching the story unravel. It's an elegant film and the score by Ennio Morricone just make the experience a more pleasant one. Tornatore delivers a good thriller which thanks to his craft allows you to enjoy it despite all the flaws.

Virgil Oldman (Geoffrey Rush) is an art auctioneer who lives on his own and has gathered quite a large collection of portraits. He tries to stay away from human relationships and keeps to himself. He also happens to be an antiques expert so he knows the value these things have. One day he receives a phone call from a strange woman named Claire (Sylvia Hoeks) who wants him to oversee the valuation of her family's art collection. Hesitant at first due to the fact that Claire never shows up to the meetings, he decides to go along with it when he discovers some pieces from a valuable antique. He takes the pieces to a mechanic named Robert (Jim Sturgess) who tells him he can rebuild the robot  if he continues to bring him more pieces. Virgil becomes attached to Claire when he discovers she's even more emotionally damaged than he is. She doesn't allow anyone to see her and hasn't left her house for years. Virgil's life changes when he finally allows himself to become attached to Claire and help her overcome her fear.

Halfway through the film there is a conversation between Rush and Donald Sutherland's characters that gives away the ending, but thanks to Rush's strong performance we are still drawn to the film. The rest of the cast isn't as strong as he is, but the movie works nonetheless. If the film had been made a few decades ago then I might have enjoyed the twist, but by now we have come to expect these sort of surprise endings. The Best Offer reminded me a lot of Matchstick Men, but perhaps nearly not as good. The film is still worth a watch thanks to Tornatore's elegant direction. I enjoyed it quite a bit.


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