The Best Offer

Critics Consensus

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55%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 33

76%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,004
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Movie Info

Virgil 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

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Cast

Geoffrey Rush
as Virgil Oldman
Maximilian Dirr
as Assistente di Virgil
Kiruna Stamell
as Girl in the Bar
Gen Seto
as Housekeeper
Klaus Tauber
as Virgil's Assistant #1
Laurence Belgrave
as Virgil's Assistant
Sean Buchanan
as Virgil's Assistant
John Benfield
as Bartender
Miles Richardson
as Steirereck Maitre
James Patrick Conway
as Steirereck Manager
Brigitte Christensen
as First Daughter
Jacqueline Hopkins
as Second Daughter
Ann Rita Davies
as Mrs. Derain
Sylvia DeFanti
as Showroom Owner
Anita Eberwein-Newrkla
as Woman Head Restorer
Victoria Chapman
as Shopkeeper Jewelry Store
Wolfram Kremer
as Merchant #1
Gerry Shanahan
as Art Dealer #2
Katherine Wilson
as Merchant #3
David Kevin Fells
as Merchant #4
Jay Natelle
as London Auction Director
Luke Charles
as Auction Assistant
Alison Adam
as Gallery Owner #1
Melanie Gerren
as Gallery Owner #2
Marcus J. Cotterel
as Oldman Auction Client #1
Adrian McCourt
as Tall Gentleman
Vernon Dobtcheff
as Academy President
Patricia Meglio
as Museum Woman Director
Stefano Scherini
as First Expert
Katie McGovern
as Second Expert
Merlin Ramml
as Young Man in the Bar
Elizabeth Kaye
as Professor
Gerhard Haller
as Photographer
Jun Ichikawa
as Woman in Restaurant
Lynn Swanson
as First Woman
Helen Hutchison
as Second Woman
Diana Pegan
as Second Girl
Shelagh Gallivan
as First Nurse
Tara Elise Schlener
as Second Nurse
Anton Alexander
as Real Estate Agent
Karel Mika
as Waiter Night & Day
Simone Spinazze
as Client London #1
Elizabeth Kalton
as Client London #2
Diana Hobel
as Client London #3
Rajeev Luigi Badhan
as London Virgil Assistant
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News & Interviews for The Best Offer

Critic Reviews for The Best Offer

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (15)

  • 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.

    Jan 30, 2014 | Full Review…
  • "The Best Offer" is at its best when it's decidedly weird.

    Jan 24, 2014 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • An uneven but weirdly mesmerizing drama/thriller, Giuseppe Tornatore's "The Best Offer" offers an acting showcase to Geoffrey Rush.

    Jan 23, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • Italian writer-director Giuseppe Tornatore... designs beautiful sets around Virgil, who holds the screen in nearly every shot.

    Jan 17, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The film has several smart twists and surprises up its well-tailored sleeve.

    Jan 9, 2014 | Full Review…
  • If its destination is patently obvious from the outset, the journey does at least offer scattered pleasures.

    Jan 9, 2014 | Rating: B- | Full Review…

    Mike D'Angelo

    AV Club
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Best Offer

  • Dec 29, 2016
    With an appalling lack of subtlety, awful dialogue and badly-constructed characters (the protagonist's actions and motivations are puzzling from beginning to end), it seems like this corny little romance full of clichés and predictable twists is making a huge effort to be bad.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 16, 2016
    Only a cold heart cannot warm to Virgil Oldman, a lonely elderly man who eats dinner alone on his birthday, even after learning that he is a fraud and a swindler. Oldman does not reveal that some of the paintings he analyzes are masterpieces. He does this so he, with the aid of his friend Billy (Donald Sutherland) can later buy them at a lower price. He keeps his masterpieces of womens' faces locked away in a room, where he, during his lonely moments, looks at but doesn't touch. Oldman is filthy rich, but still, he cannot live life in the real world, the same way he is not able to love a real woman. He loves canvas, not flesh. He can't even TOUCH flesh; he can't touch anything with his bare hands. He wears gloves and looks at the world alone, through transparent canvas. The cast was well-selected, except for Claire. Sylvia Hoeks was too "Hollywood." A better choice was to have cast a more seemingly innocent woman, one who was more "girl-like" than seductive. SPOILER ALERT. Please do not read any further if you do no wish to have the ending revealed and questioned. The ending was as open-ended as a drunk's beer can. At the last scene, why did Oldman visit the NIGHT AND DAY café? It was the only place Claire felt loved in the past. Did he go there because he couldn't let his relationship go and hoped to see her again, or was it for revenge? Oldman recollects Claire saying, "No matter what happens to us, know that I loved you." He also remembers saying that every forgery, every fake, leaves its real mark and can be found. So when Oldman tells the waiter, "I'm waiting for someone" in the last scene, what exactly did he mean? How shocking to learn that the creepy savant dwarf was the real Claire! She rented out her Villa across the street, and Billy, Robert (the young guy who fixed the gears) and the groundskeeper were all in on this master plot to destroy Virgil and to rob him of his fortune. But by doing so, did they not give him a fortune... the ability to love? While Billy's motive is apparent, Robert's is not. Billy was an artist and felt undervalued by Oldman. Why did Robert cruelly destroy Virgil? There were easier ways to rob him, if money was all he was after. One huge question remains... Was Virgil at the Mental Institution BEFORE or AFTER his visit to the NIGHT AND DAY café in Prague? Did he have a mental breakdown right after being conned, and then pull himself together? Or was the whole story him being in the institution reflecting on past events?
    Amy A Super Reviewer
  • Feb 02, 2016
    This could have been a great movie, but it has one too many unnecessary and off-key scenes and far too many on-the-nose components. Rush's character, Virgil Oldman, is an interesting character study, and of course, Rush delivers. Too bad this character is placed in a weird scenario as a reluctantly lascivious old man (hahah get it). The original premise has a classic fairytale feel, but is squandered on wish fulfillment sequences. The supporting characters are totally one dimensional and exist to push the boring plot, give space for Rush's character to voice his thoughts, or lay down some heavy-handed metaphors. The production design is the highlight of this film. There are many scenes that could produce an audible 'wow". If you want something light and pointless but visually engaging, this is a good flick to have on in the background while you get slammed or web surf.
    _kelly . Super Reviewer
  • Jul 25, 2014
    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.
    Christian C Super Reviewer

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