The Burnt Orange Heresy Image

When Berenice enters his life, she unintentionally uncovers the true nature of artists and buyers beyond just mere appearances and aesthetics. Based on Charles Willeford’s novel of the same name, this idea is explored in great detail through a series of conversations between the lead characters. There’s a lot of talking…a lot.

The conversations shift when Figueras finally has his chance to interview Debney, who refuses to talk about his work and is much more interested in getting to know more about Berenice. Figueras takes the opportunity of a boat ride between Debney and Hollis, to break into Debney’s home…unsuccessfully.

Part two of the film comes when Debney agrees to allow Figueras and Hollis to view his work in the back room. Both are surprised by what on the canvas (see the film). It’s here that Figueras formulates a plan to steal his work—all rife with intrigue with a few other surprises that are worth keeping secret..

“…it’s exciting nonetheless and will have you on the edge of your seat to the end.”

I’m not a big fan of talking movies, but thankfully Scott B. Smith screenplay moves at a good pace and makes the discussions of art accessible to the slightly higher than average audience. If I can keep up with it, it has to be good. While much of this discussion is about art, it reveals more about human nature and the lengths people are willing to go through in the name of greed and fame.

The performances are good all around. Claes Bang is a calm, subdued critic, working hard to subdue his true angry nature. Donald Sutherland never gives a bad performance, and as the likable, Debney is the polar opposite of Figueras. Elizabeth Debicki is now deliberately placed in the center of these two characters holding the two ends together, even with her convincing American accent. Jagger is a bit of stunt casting for the poster and plays the role of Cassidy admirably. Everyone is hiding something, which goes to show how nuisance these performances are.

The thriller aspect of the film acts as the payoff to audiences for having to sit through extended discussions. While it’s not the most clever or brilliant thriller, it’s exciting nonetheless and will have you on the edge of your seat to the end. The ending has some fantastic irony and a nod to Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart. The Burnt Orange Heresy is a tremendous feature that will excite both sides of the brain.

The Burnt Orange Heresy (2020)

Directed: Giuseppe Capotondi

Written: Scott B. Smith

Starring: Elizabeth Debicki, Claes Bang, Donald Sutherland, Mick Jagger, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

The Burnt Orange Heresy Image

"…does art find its value in the story behind it."

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