DECEPTION (aka LA MIGLIORE OFFERTA (THE BEST
D: Giuseppe Tornatore
Warner Bros/Paco Cinematografica (Isabella Cocuzza &
Italy 🇮🇹 2013
W: Giuseppe Tornatore
DP: Fabio Zamarion
Ed: Massimo Quaglia
Mus: Ennio Morricone
Geoffrey Rush (Virgil Oldman), Sylvia Hoeks (Claire
Ibbetson), Jim Sturgess (Robert), Donald Sutherland (Billy Whistler), Philip Jackson (Fred), Dermot Crowley (Lambert), Liya Kebede (Sarah)
Known as The Best Offer (or La Migliore Offerta) elsewhere
in the world, the title was changed to Deception for it's UK release. A bad move by distributors, since the story is ruined by this title change.
Geoffrey Rush plays eccentric, obsessive-compulsive art
auctioneer Virgil Oldman, who keeps priceless works of art to himself through the help of his assistant Billy (Donald Sutherland).
Oldman is hired to value and sell the house and belongings
of reclusive, agoraphobic heiress Claire Ibbetson, who lives at a nearby villa. Virgil becomes obsessed with her and the two fall in love, following which Claire overcomes her fear of
strangers and the outside world.
As mentioned above, the film is ruined with the switch of
title, since it's obvious that a deception is coming, dangling in front of the audience like a carrot and cheapening the plot twist when it does come. The film itself is fine, with good
acting from it's ensemble, great production design, sheen photography and a beautiful music score. It just really needed to keep its original, more ambiguous title, to provide a bigger,
better, and ultimately more rewarding, final act.