Coming to Bluray from director Dan Friedkin and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment comes the story of art and war with THE LAST VERMEER.
The war in Europe has ended but the Allied Forces were not totally in control yet but in the Netherlands, Joseph Piller (Claes Bang) was once part of the Dutch Resistance. Now, he is being asked to investigate the possibility of a German espionage ring.
Instead, he finds the flamboyant van Meegeren (Guy Pearce) living the high life in a beautiful home selling artwork to Hermann Goring while others were living in squalor. Putting him in jail until the truth could be uncovered about what he knew, Piller begins to suspect something even more has been happening. Getting him out of jail and into a hiding space in an attic, van Meegeren convinces Piller that he will tell all but only if he gets to paint.
Staying away from home is not helping his marriage either as the information provided by van Meegeren uncovers something just as shocking by assistant Minna Holmberg (Vicky Krieps). Continuing to feed Piller, Meegeren also makes it clear that he is not part of a Nazi anything and what he has been doing will have everyone in a courtroom shocked and shaken.
This is a film about war, who to trust, art and those who make it!
Bang as Piller is a straightforward man with a job to do. This character does not have a lot to say but when he does you had better listen. Taking in everything he learns from van Meegeren is often difficult for this character and Bang brings that out in subtle ways. I have enjoyed this actor since his stint on the series The Affair as Sasha Mann, as well as playing James Figueras in the very twisted 2019 film THE BURNT ORANGE HERESAY. Bang as Piller gives a spot-on performance that is riveting to watch.
Pearce as van Meegeren is absolutely hedonistic, charming, full of himself and manages to get away with things no one else would think to even try. This is a character that knows exactly what he is doing and intends to prove everything to anyone who would listen – and surprisingly enough it is Piller who is doing all the listening. Who else would believe the story van Meegeren is trying to tell? Pearce is amazing and never ceases to amaze me in his character choices.
Krieps as Holmberg believes in what Piller is doing and does not ask many questions. She is dedicated, loyal and knows that there is something more in the investigation and that Piller is not going to let go until he has all the answers which means neither will she.
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The film is based on true events and the book The Man Who Made Vermeers by Jonathan Lopez. Director Friedkin takes the story and adds the cinematography, the amazing costumes and sets to bring this story to life with richness it so deserves.
The 118-minute run of the film is long and tends to sometimes stray from the point of the film but since I love period piece films I did not mind so much. I enjoy the characters, authentic look of the film and truly enjoyed the nuances of the art story mixed into espionage.
It is the exchange of scenes between Bang and Pearce that are something to see. Bouncing off one another as Piller is quiet and reserved and the van Meegeren is flamboyant and throws caution to the wind. They meet in the middle exchanging information and in their time together, a strange friendship begins to happen.
THE LAST VERMEER is the story of two men against the backdrop of war and who is taking from whom.
In the end – the devil is in the details!