After a five-month drought it was déjà vu and weirdly comforting returning (masked) to the same theatre I frequented on Friday March 13, 2020: the historical shut down; strangely, familiarity did not breed contempt: unchanged, were the identical theatres, alphabetized rows, even the bathroom graffiti and malfunctioning toilets seemed welcoming in their constancy; time, frozen in its evasion of a venue that celebratespast, present and future.
Director Giuseppe Capotondi’s “The Burnt Orange Heresy” commences with a lecture by infamous art critic “James Figueras” (Claes Bang, “The Square”, a far more worthy watch) and interloper “Berenice Hollis” (lengthy, Elizabeth Debicki, “The Night Manager”), instant intimacy leads to a weekend at Lake Como, as the guest of influential art collector “Joseph Cassidy” (intoxicating performance by Mick Jagger); hidden in a cottage, on the property, is iconic artist “Jerome Debney” (Donald Sutherland at his seasoned best). A surreptitious bargain is concocted between Joseph and James and with its fruition dooms the film to mediocrity.
Art enthusiasts, yawningly recognize the over wrought metaphors for evil; platitudinous babble about art’s role, reason for existence; Picasso felt that “art is a lie that makes us realize the truth”; he also thought that the purpose of art is to “wash the dust of daily life off our souls”. Unfortunately, “The Burnt Orange Heresy” does neither.
TWO & ½ STARS!!