Charming and ambitious art critic, James Figueras (Claes Bang), has fallen from grace. He spends his days in Milan lecturing witless tourists about art history. His only glimmer of hope is a new-found love interest, the enigmatic American, Berenice Hollis (Elizabeth Debicki). Opportunity strikes when he is contacted by the wealthy art dealer Joseph Cassidy (Mick Jagger), who summons James to his villa on Lake Como and asks him to steal a painting from the legendary reclusive artist, Jerome Debney (Donald Sutherland). Soon, James’ greed and ambition get the better of him, and he finds himself caught in a web of his own making.
This movie is part drama, part thriller and part noir. It opens with a fascinating scene as James gives a lecture demonstrating art’s ability to deceive its observer’s, which titillates Berenice who believes the opposite. There’s something that seems off about her from the start, but as the film goes on there’s increasing doubt that she’s the problem. Joseph’s obsession with Debney’s work is definitely extreme and while James is far less interested in the reclusive artist’s latest work, he does find the prospect of a handsome payout and a reclaim to fame attractive. Unfortunately, all of the scenes unfold unnecessarily slowly and most of the intrigue is left in the first act. The ending is a combination of twist and overly vague pointed finger that takes away any chance of redeeming the rest of the picture.
Special features include: commentary with director Giuseppe Capotondi; and behind-the-scenes featurette. (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
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