The Burnt Orange Heresy

Burnt Orange Heresy, The (Giuseppe Capotondi, 2019) wr. Scott B. Smith; Claes Bang, Elizabeth Debecki, Mick Jagger, Donald Sutherland

The reviewer for Slant takes the opportunity to write about the meaning of this film in the context of the art world, the place of the critic, and so on – whereas I see it simply as plot-driven, depending on expectation, surprise, and the effectiveness of outcome. I think this approach is the most appropriate one given the shallowness of the characterisation. Each of the four principals is not complex, but simply provides part of the story. The question is not about what motivates anyone so much as : how will the story turn out?

And in that context, I find the plot to be quite satisfying. The male lead is just a straightforward bad guy who does things as horrible as he looks. The female lead is there because there has to be one, not just for decoration but also because a evil man needs a good woman as victim. Donald Sutherland, born 1935 and still working, is a static elderly presence as major painter Jerome Debney, and Mick Jagger is there to increase the size of the audience. (Pity he's too big a star to tolerate a voice coach: he's a bit hard to understand.)

So much depends on a red wheel barrow – which in this case is the 'last Debney' – and fortunately the ending provides it.

References and Links

Chuck Bowen's review in Slant.

Garry Gillard | reviews | New: 3 July, 2023 | Now: 3 July, 2023