The Burnt Orange Heresy is a crime thriller film directed by Giuseppe Capotondi. The plot follows art critic James (Claes Bang), who is tasked by an elusive art deal (Mick Jagger), with acquiring a rare painting by a once great artist (Donald Sutherland).
I was enjoying this film for a time. I think the first act where you aren’t quite sure what is going on and what James and Berenice’s (Elizabeth Debicki) motivation are is well done. The film doesn’t let you in on the mystery right away and allows you to speculate, teasing you with the prospect of something more sinister.
Then as the film continues on it becomes more and more farfetched. As we descend into a tiresome, driven by greed to murder plotline I was left saddened by what the film had left behind, namely all its subtly and personality.
The ending for me felt like a damp squid, yes it left a few things unresolved to keep you thinking, but for the most part it is far to clear cut where more abstract was needed. If this film had been more like what the Neon Demon was for the fashion world, then it would have been perfect; a cerebral experience, but no it ends as a bog-standard crime thriller.
Overall, this film left me with the question that maybe the art world just doesn’t translate well to film, as this and The Velvet Buzzsaw just feel lacking and have to resort to more and more absurd notions to try and keep interest which ruins the film as a whole.
The cast are great
The first act has a lot of promise
I enjoyed some of the imagery and themes
The ending lets it down
There is something lacking that I can’t quite but my finger on
Reviewed by Luke