What a creepy and explicit film this is. I assume you, the reader, know what you're getting into when you watch a movie, but I would like to forewarn you that this film is rated R and that is due to explicit nudity.
The Best Offer (or La migliore offerta for those of you who would like to be more elegant) is the story of art auctioneer Virgil Oldman, played by Geoffrey Rush, who comes into contact with a mysterious woman. I won't go any further into that because this is where the intrigue of the movie rests.
When it comes to the positives of The Best Offer, I will say the tension in this movie is placed superbly. I found myself asking “Why am I so freaked out?” at multiple points in this film. That, right there, shows good suspense.
This brings us to the music. Much of the tension is there because it is strongly stimulated by the music. Herein is the movie's greatest strength, and weakness. Almost the entire film's tone is achieved with music. When it is weak, the movie falters. When it is superb, the movie excels. I have a hard time completely blaming the composer, because filling almost and hour and a half of scenes with music is a daunting task. Ok, it probably wasn't that much, but you get the point. It felt that much. Loads of it drags on without end, perpetuating self indulgence and the same tone over and over, giving the aching sense that it is merely filler, when it is supposed to be important. It became annoying, and hurt my ears and brain.
Going into the weaknesses further, the scenes placed together in the final product felt incredibly choppy and dragged out when they didn't need to be. It was as if it was the creation of a fledgling baker trying to throw ingredients (scenes) together to make a cake. The end result was achieved, but it didn't taste nearly as good as it could have.
As far as the acting goes, it is solid enough. There is nothing worth applauding over, but it never threw the tone or scenes off. It is not necessary for the actors to over exert themselves too much, for the scenarios they are in do the talking and drama for them for the most part. When they are needed to step up to the plate, they do, though a certain female character can be overly melodramatic which can become unconvincing, though this *SPOILER* ultimately can be understood in the end.
Now I will need to go into spoiler territory for the two highlight paragraphs. One to talk about a certain character and the ending. Sorry, but it has to be done.
The character I am talking about is Claire. I couldn't unveil what I think about her appearance and aura outside of spoilers. She is incredibly beautiful and exotically seductive. Yet, beyond that, she has a delicate, untamed air that is unnerving. This mixes near perfectly with the films elegant and suspenseful tone. Maybe I was too overwhelmed by her appearance to be thinking clearly, but in the end I think that is what they were going for, which culminates to the ending.
Speaking of the ending, it had me saying, “Well, that was stupid.” when the film finished. When I looked deeper (my brother enlightened me), it occurred to me that Virgil sort of deserved what he got. I was too caught up in his character and his arc to care about the crappy things he was doing behind the scenes. In the end it still left me with a sense of longing for something more. This is more or less what The Best Offer is aiming for, but it is, nevertheless, a bit stupid and far fetched.
At the end of the day, the more I think about this film in my head the better and more romanticized it gets. Though, don't be confused. This is not a great film. It is merely dressed in elegance to disguise its flaws.
My personal preference: 2.5/5
How well it was made: 3/5