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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Film review - The Best Offer

Director: Giuseppe Tornatore, Italy 2012

Virgil Oldman (Geoffry Rush) is a man of very refined tastes. His villa, where he lives alone, is sumptuously immaculate with white interiors and walls of closets to keep everything in its place, like multiple shelves of custom shoes and sensuous leather gloves. As the managing director of a leading auction house that sells fine paintings, among other treasures, he is widely respected. Oldman’s villa also has a secret gallery full of priceless portraits of women. He has succeeded in collecting the paintings by purchasing them for under-valued prices at his own auctions with the help of his friend Billy (Donald Sutherland). With no woman in his life, he spends his evenings admiring his painted beauties. That is, until a mysterious woman named Claire (Sylvia Hoeks) calls and asks him to sell her family’s valuable possessions. Oldman is intrigued by Claire who repeatedly misses appointments with him and later, after he learns that she has agoraphobia, speaks with him only behind a closed door. However, with the help of his mechanical genius friend Robert’s (Jim Sturgess) expert advice on girls, Oldman begins to build a relationship with Claire as he catalogues her family antiques. No surprise, the old man becomes Claire’s lover. He helps her overcome her agoraphobia and later introduces her to his gallery girls. Unfortunately, the rest of the story is quite predictable as well. But the painting and antiques are gorgeous, the locations lovely, and doesn’t every lonely old man fantasize about a helpless young babe to rescue? No question: Oldman wasn’t Claire’s best offer, but Rush does manage an amusing sales campaign. (Mary N.)

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