The Best Offer is a movie that came out in 2013, but I only got the chance to view it recently. Giuseppe Tornatore did not disappoint; he turned in a masterpiece of writing and directing, as was only to be expected. The cast, led by Geoffrey Rush was impeccable and extremely convincing, making it impossible to guess that some of them were not what they seemed to be. The main character Virgil Oldman, played by Rush is a germophobe who is afraid to touch anything, including other people, with his bare hands. He becomes fascinated and eventually infatuated with a young woman smitten with agoraphobia. The love story is beautiful and very touching especially to a man who is in about the same age bracket. The high class world of collectibles’ auctioneering is depicted so well, that you become quite familiar with it. Virgil’s knowledge of art and antique furniture is nothing less than spectacular.
As an auctioneer, Virgil gets to bend a few rules now and then to satisfy his craving for paintings of beautiful women. Without giving away too many details, let me just say that I did not feel he got punished because of that. I was quite disappointed when I felt that the autumn-spring romance seemingly evaporated, making me feel as Yeats would say that: “There is no country for old men.” It left our protagonist sitting in a fabulous restaurant and presumably, waiting in vain. Made me re-watch the whole thing to try and find some hope and sure indeed there were some clues that I have missed on first viewing. I’d like to believe that his patience will be rewarded someday.
I enjoyed the movie very much and I cannot recommend highly enough. Those who are familiar with Tornatore’s work, will not need my recommendation. For the rest of you, if you have not seen ‘Cinema Paradiso’ and ‘The Legend of 1900.’ make a note to yourselves to do so at the earliest opportunity.