From the man who gave us Cinema Paradiso comes a very different movie experience titled The Best Offer. Director Giuseppe Tornatore explores the life of an expert antiques valuer and auctioneer in the European art market. Geoffrey rush plays the lead character Virgil Oldman who is an eccentric living a solitary life within the elite art world .
Geoffrey rush as Virgil, the obsessive art dealer
His life starts to change as he is contacted by a mysterious woman who requires his services to sell off her inheritance. The film then develops as Virgil becomes more and more obsessed with this girl, Claire Ibbetson (Sylvia Hoeks) who suffers from a some kind of social phobia spending much of her time locked away in her room.
Donald Sutherland is great as Billy Whistler who is a secret assistant to Virgil and fake bids items in auction to help build up Virgil's extensive art collection. Add to the mix Robert (Jim Sturgess) a young repair man who Virgil seeks advice on matters of the heart.
It's certainly a unique story building tension and unfolding in a way where you feel eventually there will be a crisis point. Geoffrey Rush gives a solid performance as usual, convincing as the lonely soul who becomes lovestruck late in life. My main complaint is that it takes quite a while for the story to develop and parts of the plot lack credibility. Otherwise this is an interesting enough story providing a window into an art auctioneers life with a backdrop of beautiful architecture and artworks.