A story centered on an eccentric art auctioneer and his obsession with an heiress/collector.

Geoffrey…Rush…is…an…actor.  Are we clear on this?  Damn, is this guy good at his job.  I submit that the versatile veteran Aussie is the reason to watch the exquisite mystery drama “The Best Offer”.

Rush gives his all as he gives us Virgil Oldman, a lonely auction house owner and expert art appraiser/collector who operates both above and well below the line of legitimacy.  His partner in chicanery, co-constituent of acting royalty Donald Sutherland, together trick and take at will from wealthy yet unwary bidders.  And all the while Oldman continues adding to a personal treasure trove of “painted ladies” on private display in a secret room of his sprawling mansion.

the-best-offer-main-reviewI am long partial to movies that gradually and in due time reveal to us unsettling idiosyncrasies about central characters in the story.  Rush’s Oldman, while eccentric and crotchety certainly, still is initially presented to us as quite the distinguished gentleman. In due time, however, we come to discover that he is not at all what he appears as the layers peel away from the onion to reveal a core most unscrupulous and unhinged.

A forever fan of the magical power of music in film, I was extraordinarily impressed by how the Italian filmmaking tandem of Director Giuseppe Tornatore and Music maestro Ennio Morricone uniquely unify to make each scene seem entirely essential.  And with nearly every image, the raw and rousing sonic power of the extraordinary symphonic and choral soundtrack almost assumes the dimension of another character in this consistently captivating tale.

They say “You can’t con a con man.”  I suppose that may well be.  However, as we come to discover in “The Best Offer”, toss love into the mix and all bets are off.

No matter how smooth the swindler.



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