After a long pause, Giuseppe Tornatore is back in the cinemas with a new film, The Best Offer, around the world of art and auction houses. The film, whose shooting just ended, is set in Trieste, Vienna, Prague, Bolzano, Rome and Milan. It seems that this film was inspired by a series of auction catalogues that the director received and that, in time, literally caught his attention, especially for the seductive descriptions of art works. “Forceful, snappy and attractive expressions” that made him desire to delve into the theme of the auction houses, not enough treated in cinema.
The Best Offer represents the will to realize a work entirely produced in Italy, but with an international artistic bounce. Therefore, the “less Italian” and less known theme of auction houses in Italy, fits perfectly with the will of the artist and became his perfect background. As Tornatore himself explained, the film had a different genesis from the previous ones; a transformation and rupture film with respect to the cinematographic characteristics of the Sicilian director. No autobiographic connection and a completely new setting: the one of the auction houses, chosen as setting but not as the main theme of the movie. The title refers to that world, but it is here used in a different way: during the auction, the best offer is the highest, while in the competitive tenders, it is the lowest. In the film – where an auctioneer is involved in a love triangle with shades and tones similar to a classical thriller – the expression has an allegoric meaning, “because in love you never know which is the best offer to conquer your beloved.”
To learn more about the world of auctions, to understand better the central role and the style of an auctioneer, Tornatore reveals to have attended various international auctions. In The Best Offer the auctioneer is the main character, the “real narrator” the director says, “who invents a screenplay and gives the pace, performing his own show during the auction,” as a real actor. The Middle-European taste of the setting demanded, especially for the Italian public, an international cast: the main character Geoffrey Rush (auctioneer) with Donald Sutherland (the auctioneer’s best friend), among the most famous, in addition to the feminine star, the Dutch Sylvia Hoeks playing Claire (a client of the auction house) and Jim Sturgess (Robert, the skilled restorer).
Filmed in English, with music by Ennio Morricone, the film will be on from 4 January 2013. At last, after Hitchcock, also an internationally famous Italian director chose the world of the auction houses as setting for his work; we wish the film great success and hope that it will convince a larger audience to become fond of this fascinating way of making art, as it happened to Tornatore.