The Best Offer
Watch the nightly news as Christies auctions a rare piece of jewellery and you understand the premise of this intelligent movie “The Best Offer”. Like any auction, the anticipation builds as you wait to see where the story ends. The value is unknown despite the best of valuations. The real value is only shown as the hammer falls and all the characters have played their part to acquire the gems.
Antiquities and paintings like a good wine or cheese will always improve with age. The tricks amongst many for capitalising on these collectibles include knowing where to find the most valuable of objects under the dust and shadows and recognising how to spot a fake. Take a trip into the mind of an auctioneer who has learned and perfected this craft and you start to wonder who you can trust your valuables with.
Our story enters the auction world of Virgil Oldman played by Geoffrey Rush. For years he has controlled his auctions and customers in order to manage his distance from the world. With a fear of human connection Virgil is drawn into the art world as his only emotional connection. Even his gloves don’t provide enough of a barrier for the fear of rejection. Geoffrey Rush has come along way since he bounced high and naked enough for an Oscar as David Helfgott in Shine
When Virgil’s world intersects with the broken sanctuary of Claire the fuse is lit. Claire, played by Sylvia Hoeks, has been living for years in her parents villa within hidden compartments behind the walls. A broken young lady, Claire is charged with overcoming her fears in order to sell her parent’s rare treasures. Her greatest challenge is not coming from behind the walls, but deciding whether to trust a man she doesn’t know, a man with an astute eye for beauty and riches.
As the two develop a deep an unerring bond, Virgil is drawn to her vulnerability and confesses to a young engineer called Robert, played by Jim Sturgess. Robert the ‘lad about town’ then helps develop the auctioneer’s confidence and dating skills in order to be able to court Claire. Robert becomes more intertwined in our story as he has been engaged by Virgil to rebuild an antique Animatron made from pieces Virgil finds in Claire’s estate. The mystery of its origin and value provides some mystery to the script as the Animatron comes together like the pieces of a puzzle.
The Best Offer from Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore brings some unique talent to our screen in this brilliant script. Tornatore takes even more credit for the movie as the writer but the real magic happens through the eyes of Geoffrey Rush. His ability to engage with the camera whether in partnership with Hoeks or Sturgess or alone speaking to a wall is mesmerising.
The Best Offer is a work of art and the hammer falls at 4 out of 5
Rating: M Violence and sex scenes.