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Netflix Daily Pick: The Art of Mystery in ‘The Best Offer’ (2013)

Today's pick is a tense crime thriller about a lonely man lost in art.

The Best Offer is a 2013 mystery about a high-end art auctioneer hired by a solitary young heiress to auction off the large collection of art and antiques, though she refuses to be seen in person.

Today’s Netflix pick is a juicy little mystery and if you’re an art fan, double bonus. Starring Geoffrey Rush and Sylvia Hoeks, this is a moody, dark, and curious gem of a crime thriller that is all about the atmosphere as it toys with expectations. While it leads into romance, it twists us further in to curiosity and then obsession. A smart and clever film, it’s The Best Offer and it’s what you’re watching tonight. Here’s why.

THE STORY: Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore, it’s set in and around Europe on a middle-aged man named Virgil Oldman (Rush), a highly-respected, extremely wealthy, but aloof art dealer and director of a preeminent auction house. One day, he’s hired by Claire Ibbetson (Hoeks) to sell off a huge collection of art left by her recently deceased parents, though she suffers from severe agoraphobia and won’t come of her room to meet him. They speak through the door but as time passes and Virgil tests the boundaries of voyeurism, he finds he’s fallen in love with her. But there are secrets at play and things hidden are soon to be revealed.

The Best Offer
The Best Offer, 2013 © Paco Cinematografica

WHY YOU NEED TO WATCH: What’s not to like about a great mystery and The Best Offer has plenty and then some as we follow the achingly lonely Virgil down the primrose path. Rush is sensational as the standoffish bachelor, endowed with heaps of idiosyncrasies that make him endlessly watchable. There is a subplot involving the construction of an odd mechanical device from pats he discovers in Claire’s home and it become symbolic of their relationship, but then much more. A deliberately paced film, one does need to pay attention as the clues are there if you are watching carefully, which all leads to a devastating end. A terrific  dark thriller with some great performance, this is a must see. You can read our full review of the film here. It’s streaming on Netflix right now.

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