There comes a point in thrillers like this where you start to overthink it. At first you are thinking “well, clearly so and so is hustling our hero, and this is going to be a scam”, but then you’re like “it can’t be that obvious, can it? Maybe that’s a fake out and the mastermind is really this other person and the love interest is on the level.” Then later you realize that if the thriller was actually thrilling you’d be sucked into the moment as it was happening, and you wouldn’t have time to be thinking ahead to the ending. Once you realize that you are jumping forward to the grand reveal just because you want the movie to end already, it doesn’t matter who did what to whom because the story is clearly not working.
The first hour of the Best Offer is fine. It’s about an art auctioneer who slowly gets sucked into the world of a weird agoraphobic heiress who wants to sell all of the antiques and paintings she inherited from her parents. He is intrigued by her mystery since she hides in a secret room every time he’s there, speaking to him through a hole in a wall. During the first act of the movie there is a feeling that this is going somewhere, because once it has set up his character it begins to set her character up, and as he slowly draws her out you get a sense that once the two players are set up against each other the chess game will really begin…
But then it takes far, far too long once she’s out for it to actually go anywhere. You know that this movie is not going to become a romance - it has the wrong tone for that – so you know that their love will not be true, so all of the time it spend setting up their relationship in a straight forward manner is a bit of a drag. Furthermore, there’s nothing thrilling to goose the movie during the long stretches of the movie where these two closed off people begin to open up to each other. There are no sudden shocks in the movie and it suffers greatly because of it, because you are just waiting for the other shoe to drop and it keeps refusing to drop.
At least it’s a good looking movie. The set up allows for a lot of beautiful props to be placed inside gorgeous houses. It’s just too bad that lovely scenery isn’t all you need to propel a thriller forward.
Winner: The Cat