#REVIEW: “THE BURNT ORANGE HERESY”
By George Kozera for Mr. Will Wong
There are many reason to see the Erotic Thriller, THE BURNT ORANGE HERESY, on the big screen. Set in Italy and dealing with the contemporary art scene, this Film is visually-arresting and one cannot help but be mesmerized the beauty of the many locales and the diversity and originality of the artwork. Claes Bang, who made an international impact in the Oscar-nominated The Square, once again plays a character deeply entrenched in the art world. His character, James Figueras, is an Art Critic and Lecturer. His smug intellect and hypnotic oratories during a presentation to American tourists in Milan quickly foreshadows that, indeed, this man will be up to no good. To his advantage, he is also ruggedly handsome and catches the eye of American, Berenice Hollis. As played by the ridiculously talented and beautiful Elizabeth Debicki, the two characters meet, banter and wind up in bed together. James is invited by a wealthy Art Collector, Joseph Cassidy, to his summer home in Lake Como and he brings Berenice along. Cassidy is played by rock icon Mick Jagger and his return to acting on the big screen is celebratory. Cassidy is as sinister as he is suave and offers James an opportunity for redemption. As he has a criminal record for embezzlement (among many other crimes), if James can secure a painting from the reclusive and legendary Artist Jerome Debney (played with panache by Donald Sutherland) who is staying as a guest at Cassidy’s estate, but wants nothing to do with his host, Cassidy will pull strings to make him director of a major museum. Yes folks, we have the makings of a modern film noir.
THE BURNT ORANGE HERESY resonated with me. I have always been intrigued with the art world and the power of paintings, Equally as fascinating for me are in the inner workings of museums and galleries and the mind sets of collectors. I also gravitate towards “talkie” movies and bask in the aura of aural. Listening to Sutherland discuss art is glorious. Lastly, I love a good mystery replete with action and plot twists and this is where THE BURNT ORANGE HERESY falters. The Last Act is jumbled and, to be frank, frustrating. Events occur that jar incomprehensibly with the characters’ progression. However, I remained invested in the Movie and the final reveal is gobsmackingly terrific.
The audience appeal for THE BURNT ORANGE HERESY may be limited but this stylish film with killer performances by all the leads is a must-see.
Mongrel Media release THE BURNT ORANGE HERESY Friday, August 7, 2020.