The Best Offer (2014)
Movie InfoVirgil Oldman is a solitary, cultured man whose reluctance to engage with others, especially women, is matched only by the dogged obsessiveness with which he practices his profession of antiques dealer. He's never been close to another human being, not even Robert, his only friend - a young, skillful restorer of mechanical devices from every era. The day he turns sixty-three, Virgil receives a phone call from a young woman who asks him to handle the disposal of some family works of art. But when the time comes for his first site visit, the girl fails to appear, nor, for various reasons, is she present for the taking of the inventory or for the transportation and restoration of the pieces. More than once Virgil is tempted to bow out of what appears to be nothing but a bothersome mess, but on each occasion, the mysterious young woman, locked in her own obsessional world, convinces him to continue. And with this, the old antique dealer's life begins to take an unexpected turn. It is Robert who shows him, step-by-step, how to win the heart of a young woman who is afraid of the world and, caught in the middle of this puzzling game of chess, Virgil soon finds himself enveloped by a passion that will transform his grey existence forever. (C) IFC … More
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Critic Reviews for The Best Offer
The movie's an eyeful, though, thanks to the intricate production design and many artworks on display; it's also an earful, thanks to Ennio Morricone's fittingly lush score.
An uneven but weirdly mesmerizing drama/thriller, Giuseppe Tornatore's "The Best Offer" offers an acting showcase to Geoffrey Rush.
Italian writer-director Giuseppe Tornatore... designs beautiful sets around Virgil, who holds the screen in nearly every shot.
The film has several smart twists and surprises up its well-tailored sleeve.
If its destination is patently obvious from the outset, the journey does at least offer scattered pleasures.
Tornatore lays on the symbolism a bit thickly, and the film's mix of accents offers a distinct whiff of Europudding. You will probably even see some of the twists coming. Yet the film is still terrifically compelling.
Part of a forger's craft involves not simply duplicating the images but replicating the strokes to be found in the original. Tornatore's film makes deft use of cinematic cliché to lead viewers astray.
In The Best Offer, director/writer Giuseppe Tornatore feasts at the Hitchcock table.
When all is revealed in "The Best Offer," the appropriate reaction is that of a frustrated auctioneer: "That's it? That's all you've got?"
The clues and themes laid out early on in The Best Offer, which evolve into heavy handedness in their own right, also lay unencumbered paths for obvious twists to come in this limp arthouse thriller.
What a nice way to start 2014, with this intricate, multi-layered tale of mystery, deceit, and delicate anxiety...
Isn't there a more interesting way to handle an imprisoned princess than this tired cliché?
Strangely old-fashioned in its construction and requiring a Golden Gate-level feat of engineering to achieve the suspension of disbelief necessary to unironically enjoy it, the...excesses of The Best Offer are best approached with severe caution.
Audience Reviews for The Best Offer
A film rich in symbolism and meaning, with a superb performance by Geoffrey Rush. Better than average cinematography and a twist that keeps you thinking and considering the message long after the film has ended. (Tell me the statute Rush hides behind isn't a brilliant allegory for the entire film! Brilliant!) The music gets high marks as well. Highly recommended -- even if you're only looking for a good caper movie.More
Tornatore tried to channel Hitchcock's "Marnie" in "La Sconosciuta", here he does the same with "Vertigo" in mind (Laura and The Portrait of Jennie are other tales of doomed love that he seems to address), Considerably less emotionally resonant than those other titles, this one is a sleek and enjoyable gothic romance/giallo that ,unluckily, feels too telegraphed and soon falls in the now trite twist and turns of almost every heist/scam films. A forgery, but a very beautiful one.More
In "The Best Offer," Virgil Oldman(Geoffrey Rush) owns a pretigious auction house with a side business that he runs with his friend Billy(Donald Sutherland) in coveting some of the paintings that come his way. Virgil's latest commission involves the settling of the estate of Claire(Sylvia Hoeks) whose parents have just died. While at her decaying mansion, he spots some gears which he brings to his other friend Robert(Jim Sturgess), a mechanic, before discovering a link to a far richer treasure than he could have originally imagined.
The best thing you could probably say about "The Best Offer" is that it is a near miss. Well, not really, as it on one hand serves as a fine character portrait of somebody whose aiming for perfection borders on extreme fastidiousness.(To be honest, I have to like any character in this day and age who does not own a cell phone.) While otherwise confident, he cannot look a woman in the eye, probably caused by being raised by nuns. All of which is aided by an excellent performance from Geoffrey Rush.
But plot and story not so much. Everything plays out pretty much as expected with few surprises. And then still manages to make little or no sense, starting with the fact that somebody as busy and important as Virgil would not waste that much of his personal time with such a difficult client as Claire. That's even before the gears put in an appearance. That just goes to show you that while we can appreciate the precision of a clock, the same should not hold true for any art form, especially movies.
The Best Offer (Italian: La migliore offerta) is a very sophisticated Italian romantic mystery written and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso). Perfectly casted stars Geoffrey Rush, Jim Sturgess, Sylvia Hoeks and Donald Sutherland managed to deliver the goods in Giuseppe Tornatore's first English-language feature.
It was a very colourful story of love and deceit, set in Europe (Trieste, Bolzano, Fidenza, Rome, Milan, Merano, Vienna, Prague) in the world of high-end art auctions and antiques. The story revolves around an elderly and esteemed, but somewhat eccentric, managing director of an auction house Virgil Oldman (Geoffrey Rush) who is hired by a reclusive young heiress, Claire Ibbetson (Sylvia Hoeks), to auction off the large collection of art and antiques left to her by her parents. The mystery starts when, for some reason, Claire always refuses to be seen in person.
Virgil Oldman finds some odd old mechanical parts in the house and collects them, and an astute young artificer, Robert (Jim Sturgess), aids him in restoring and reassembling them. He is also giving him advice on how to befriend her, and how to deal with his feelings towards Claire. Oldman's character has poise and prestige which is counterpointed by an ongoing scam whereby his friend Billy Whistler (Donald Sutherland) helps him to acquire a secret private collection of master paintings.
It is a smart, precise, romantic, mysterious movie with an outstanding music score composed by Ennio Morricone, and if you have chance to see it - don't miss it!
The Best Offer Quotes
- Human emotions are like works of art. They can be forged. They seem just like the original, but they're a forgery.
- Virgil Oldman:
- Everything can be faked, Virgil. Joy, pain, hate, illness, recovery, even love.
- Virgil Oldman:
- I suppose feeling a certain interest in a person necessarily engenders a conviction that she's beautiful.
- Emotions are like work of art. They can be forged they seem just like the original but they are forgery.
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