Giuseppe Tornatore? I don't think so. From Cinema Paradiso through The Legend of 1900, Malèna, The Unknown Woman and Baarìa, film after film is packed with everything I love about movies -- being able to lose myself in a story at once strange, wonderful and absolutely riveting and so gorgeously designed and photographed that each becomes an instant classic. Now we have THE BEST OFFER, yet another amazement from this beauty-besotted, quality-over-quantity artist.
Geoffrey Rush, below, center), a man who seems as remote from actual life and emotion as might be possible. Possessing an eye for art that is pretty extraordinary, Oldman has managed to run, over the years, a fine little scam, with the help of his friend Billy (Donald Sutherland), in which Billy helps sell paintings not worth all that much for higher prices, while allowing Oldman to acquire others that are likely to grow exponentially in value. Considered to be the expert in art evaluation, as well as the top auctioneer, Oldman is riding high.
Jim Sturgess (above) in his most boyish, charming and winning mode. And if you know Sturgess' work, this is very winning.
Sylvia Hoeks, above, chosen no doubt for her beauty and exotic quality as much as for her acting skills. She delivers on all three fronts.
IFC Films and running not a minute too long at 128 of them, is available now on DVD (if any movie deserves the Blu-ray treat-ment, it's this one) but, oddly, not available via digital rental. Netflix really ought to have this one on streaming. It has garnered an IMDB rating of 7.8 from over 51,000 viewers -- which is nothing to sneeze at, movie fans.