The Burnt Orange Heresy

COVID sucks! In many, many ways. Besides all the obvious loss, it has hit the arts sector really hard. So far 2020 has been really tough on the film industry. With lockdowns not enabling people to go to cinemas, film releases being delayed and just general fear of public gatherings, not much business has been done so far at the box office. As such many films have either not been released yet while others have flown under the radar with people’s attention being focused elsewhere.

Such is the case with Giuseppe Capotondi’s (directed episodes of the Berlin Station) film, The Burnt Orange Heresy. What he is trying in this film with a title which does not roll off the tongue, is for a clever mystery film along the lines of a Hitchcockian.

Story is about art thievery. An art dealer who will do just about anything to get ahead in his profession comes across an offer he cannot resist. That is to steal a rare work by one of the most secretive painters of all time. What seems like a sure thing gets out of control due to human foibles like greed and insecurity.

Like 2020 itself everything starts off great in this film. The story is engaging and the mystery is puzzling. Plus our lead couple comprised of Elizabeth Debicki, who is to soon star as Lady Diana in The Crown, and the darkly handsome Claes Bang have great chemistry.

Then two big stars in the form of Mick Jagger and Donald Sutherland are introduced and the film seems to fall apart at the seems. Dialogue gets too odd for its own good. Maybe devolving into too much of a philosophical take on what art actually is. Nobody like a haughty film which makes you feel dumb.

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