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HERESY, THE BURNT ORANGE (15) Three Stars
Running Duration: 98 min.
Starring: Claes Bang, Elizabeth Debicki, Donald Sutherland, Mick Jagger.
Driven by: Giuseppe Capotondi, Managing Director
When you’re telling the truth, lying is easy.
This teasing line, spoken by one of the morally ambiguous characters in the art-world thriller by director Giuseppe Capotondi, shows at the heart of every human interaction the silent tug-of-war between perception and reality.
Instead of trusting our own judgement, we accept facts at face value and ascribe value based on the opinion of so-called experts.
The nonsensical title given in the film to an invisible painting is intended to incite an empty discussion.
“The critics, those ravenous dogs, can chew on it and look for meaning,” the poet, played by Donald Sutherland with avuncular glee, explains.
Based on Charles Willeford’s 1971 book, the essence of Scott Smith’s script takes almost an hour to come into view, and the rewards for our patience are not especially bountiful.
As young lovers blinded by first impressions, Claes Bang and Elizabeth Debicki grow a gently simmering chemistry, opposite a mischievous Mick Jagger as a beauty connoisseur who takes pleasure in chewing on the hefty one-liners of the film.
‘Art can be a strict mistress like that, can’t it?’ he smirks.
For all the wrong reasons, one drawn-out scene – a leisurely drive along a lakeside road – is unsettling.
For an agonizingly long time, the driver and passenger gazed into each other’s eyes, totally ignoring the winding road ahead.
Speeding into oncoming traffic or plunging into Lake Como determines logic.
Mischievous art critic James Figueras (Bang), armed with a well-rehearsed lecture on the force of persuasion, is touring Europe.
He invents a false story for one of his own awkwardly composed paintings to prove his point and convinces a small audience of enraptured American tourists that his work is a masterpiece created in a Nazi concentration camp by a little-known artist.
James beds pretty American attendee Berenice Hollis (Debicki) after a lecture in Milan and invites her to accompany him to the sprawling estate on Lake Como of art collector Joseph Cassidy (Jagger).
In offering James a private audience with one of America’s greatest living painters, who happens to live in a guest house, the dynamic host wastes no time.
“Imagine the sensation it would cause – the first critic in more than 50 years to interview Jerome Debney!” Cassidy says.
Cassidy demands that James get him a priceless new job, signed by Debney, in exchange for this career-boosting opportunity (Donald Sutherland).
The Burnt Orange Heresy is a cat-and-mouse slow-burning game that could be playfully equated to drying paint by some viewers.
Capotondi maintains a leisurely pace, making the running time of 98 minutes feel much longer.
Despite the sweaty urgency depicted on film, a hurried finale, stylishly disguised as a noir thriller, is underwhelming.
LEGACY: THE Art (15) Three stars.
Driven by the following director: Zoe Lister-Jones
Cailee Spaeny, Michelle Monaghan Starring:
Running Duration: 94 min.
Nearly 25 years after the release of Andrew Fleming’s teen horror The Craft, Zoe Lister-Jones writes and directs a standalone sequel that hopefully delivers plenty of tricks and treats in time for Halloween.
With her mother, Eunice (Michelle Monaghan), Lily (Cailee Spaeny) moves to a new town and struggles to fit in at school.
Three classmates, Frankie (Gideon Adlon), Lourdes (Zoey Luna) and Tabby (Lovie Simone), show her great kindness and perform a ritual that confirms Lily as the fourth member of their secret teenage coven.
To exact vengeance on the bullies of the academy, Lily gains extraordinary powers that she can combine with other members of the coven.
Every action has a consequence and Lily, Frankie, Lourdes and Tabby are unprepared for the true cost of their sorcery.
Three Stars by WOLFWALKERS (PG)
Hour of running: 103 min.
Directed by: Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart
Starring: With the voices of Sean Bean, Honor Kneafsey and Eva Whittaker.
Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart co-direct an animated fantasy for Kilkenny-based studio Cartoon Saloon, which received Academy Award nominations for its three previous films, The Secret Of Kells, Song Of The Sea and The Breadwinner.
Wolfwalkers is set in a time d