On Bluray, DVD and Digital from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and director Giuseppe Capotondi is the story of a man who needs THE BURNT ORANGE HERESY.
James Figueras (Claes Bang) is an art critic who gives classes on what could only be called art appreciation and understanding. During one of his lectures, Berenice Hollis (Elizabeth Debicki) walks in and catches James attention. She sits listening to the story of artist Jerome Debney (Donald Sutherland) and is surprised to discover that James has a way with the crowd.
After the lecture, Berenice speaks with James and they hit it off almost immediately as both have a sharp wit and twisted sense of humor. Start off a hot and heavy relationship comes in handy when James gets a call from Joseph Cassidy in Lake Cuomo, Italy (Mick Jagger) who tells him the artist Jerome Dabney lives on his estate and Cassidy wants something specific from him.
Asking Berenice to join him on his jaunt to Cassidy’s estate, they get to spend more time together. Meeting Cassidy, both James and Bernice are surprised at his forthright manner and what it is he wants. Specifically, Dabney has not shown anyone his work in more years than anyone can count – he wants a peek and James it to help him get it.
Within days, James and Berenice meet Debney and immediately the artist is taken with the young girl. Explaining his philosophy about his art and feeling the freedom in his art, James is hopeful to find something. When Debney finally does take them to his little house in the woods and opens up his art room, James is in shock much to the artists humor.
Later, Debney and Bernice take a walk together and she finds that he is clever, funny and charming. James returns to Debney’s home and sets in motion a plan that is far beyond anything anyone could have imagined. Once the chain of events begins, there is no turning back.
Bang as James is a bit of a self-indulgent narcissist who uses his humor to get through life. Believing what he had being told about becoming an artist himself, he turned to talking about other people’s work. I loved Bang in the cable series THE AFFAIR so I already knew he could be an absolute cad and do it with a straight face. What I did not see was what the character of James would become and for that – bravo sir!
Debicki as Berenice is a lovely young woman who fell quickly for the fun and excitement that James brought into her life. She does not seem to have a care in the world and just flitters from place to place with no real story to tell. That intrigues James a bit which, I am assuming, why he keeps her around. No story means no mess. Debicki is so lovely in her scenes with Sutherland and that is what stood out for me.
Jagger as Cassidy is just a douchebag with a gleam in his eye. Wanting what he wants when he wants it, he will use anybody to make that happen, ergo James. When he hears that there is artwork by Debney, he is going to make sure it ends up in his hands. The final scene at the museum is going to bring about some questions so let the chatter begin. Jagger has been away from the screen for some time, so this is a wicked comeback.
Can we talk about Sutherland as Debney for a moment? Let’s just get this out of the way, I have been a Donald Sutherland fan for more years than I will admit (when he had a full head of brown curly hair if that tells you anything). Every role he takes on has something special flowing from it, even if he is not a very nice character. As Debney, Sutherland makes it perfectly clear who he is and why he is and if everyone has an issue, he does not care. I dug that completely.
Other cast include: Rosalind Halstead as Evelina Macri, Rasneet Kaur as Lea and Alessandro Fabrizi as Rodolfo.
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Bluray, DVD and Digital Bonus Material includes Commentary with Director Capotondi – Explores the film’s production, locations and themes in this in-depth commentary and Behind THE BURNT ORANGE HERESY – Stars Claes Bang Elizabeth Debicki explore their complex, absorbing characters, Mick Jagger’s unnerving turn as Cassidy in his first film role in nearly twenty years, and the perfectly cast Donald Sutherland as the reclusive artist at the heart of the film.
THE BURNT ORANGE HERESY is an unpredictable film because we are not given time to truly understand each character which, translated for me means, I have no frakken idea what they will do next. There is something very cool about that especially given that so many films are predictable from start to finish.
Director Capotondi takes us on a spin through the art world and how it is perceived, what art critics (oh my) say about other people’s work and who controls the strings. All of these things are very subtle and slide in because the character of James is taking up so much space in the film. His antics and constant fluttering take us away from the bigger picture until it has been painted in a HUGE way.
The cast is small which is impressive pulling off a story like this and I thoroughly enjoyed what they did and exactly how they did it. Don’t you hate when I am vague?
In the end – you cannot paint over the truth!