Showing an art of Stones
The Burnt Orange Heresy
15, 99mins. Just opened
Art fraud, murder and high society collide in this thriller adaptation of Charles Willeford’s 1971 book. The film features classy lead performances from stars-of-the-moment Claes Bang and Elizabeth Debicki.
But the real joy is Mick Jagger in his first major non-cameo role in nearly 20 years, as the mischievous millionaire art collector who is the story’s catalyst.
Bang (who played the Count in the recent TV adaptation of Dracula) stars as art critic James Figueras, a rather pompous figure who we first see giving a lecture to museum tourists in Milan. It is there he meets the mysterious Berenice (Debicki) who falls for his charms.
She joins him to visit art collector Joseph Cassidy ( Jagger), who reveals he is letting reclusive painter Jerome Debney (Donald Sutherland) stay at a small house on his estate – and wants James to pinch one of his paintings.
But all is not as it seems. The body of artwork is substantially less than it appears, and prompts James to head down a path that includes fraud, arson and much, much worse. Bang is suitably slippery and devious as the caddish art critic and Elizabeth Debicki is perfect as enigmatic Berenice.
But the film’s real revelation is the supremely charming, playfully manipulative art dealer, who seems to be pulling all the strings.
It is great to see Jagger’s moves, back on the big screen, in a proper role.