Friday, August 02, 2013

The Best Offer

Perfect clothes, perfect furnishings, perfect make-up, perfect looking extras, in other words perfect mise-en-scène. Populated by bunch of off-beat to downright weird characters. Virgil Oldman (Geoffrey Rush) is Italy's premier art auctioneer, always dines at the same restaurant, sitting alone facing the wall while wearing gloves. He is completely confident of his superior knowledge of art, and is not above exploiting that fact to his financial advantage from time to time. One of his two friends is an electro-mechanical genius who can repair or rebuild anything and is a babe magnet. The woman at the centre of the film, Claire Ibbetson, is an agoraphobic who no-one has seen for 10 years. She draws Oldman out of his routine with a bizarre series of phone calls and outrageous requests that no-one else would tolerate. Even some of the minor characters are outlandish.

Actually none of these characters or their situation would be possible in real world and that should cause the penny to start dropping. If they were more realistic I would class The Best Offer as a rom-com, mystery thriller. But given the combination of a magically perfect setting with larger-than-life characters I'm going out on a limb and classifying this as a modern fairytale. It is pity that there isn't a bit more humour.

Even though the film is set in Italy the cast is all English speaking. It is as if the population of Italy has been replaced by British people, though with Italian tastes and Italian clothes! Like art itself there is more style than substance here.

Ian's rating 3/5

1 comment:

  1. We saw Geoffrey Rush and Giuseppe Tornatore at Melbourne premier - talking about how they wrote the script a year earlier. I enjoyed in the start, but rapidly spiralled down into awful depths never to return. Still trying to rid my memory of visions of naked Geoffrey bedded Dutch supermodel Sylvia Hoeks, surely the most unlikely romantic couple ever filmed - Antony K.