Film Review: The Burnt Orange Heresy – Dir: Giuseppe Capotondi (Sony Pictures)

Starring: Claes Bang, Elizabeth Debicki, Mick Jagger, Donald Sutherland

Yes, that’s right, that’s Mick Jagger playing a sleazy art dealer in this drama/thriller film. And though Mick is pushing 77, he’s not the oldest cast member,  that honour goes to 84 year old Donald Sutherland.

Among the ”youngsters” in the film are Claes Bang, the 53 year old Danish actor who made a splash in TV’s The Affair and 29 year old Australian actor Elizabeth Debicki (Guardians of the Galazy Vol 2).

There’s no doubt that Jagger’s presence peaked my interest in The Burnt Orange Heresy, as did the film’s quirky title. Of course Mick’s acting career doesn’t match his singing style with his most memorable roles (Performance, Ned Kelly) 50 years in the past.

So what exactly is The Burnt Orange Heresy about?

The main character is Bang’s James Figueras, a somewhat shady film critic (aren’t they all) who we see lecturing a university class as the film opens. Before too long he’s holding a private “lesson” with the stunning blonde beauty Berenice Hollis.

Now a couple, James and Berenice travel to Italy to meet art dealer Joseph Cassidy (Jagger). To be fair, Mick holds his own in the acting department, its just almost impossible to forget that he’s MICK JAGGER while watching him.

Cassidy offers Figueras an opportunity to meet, and possibly interview , the reclusive artist Jerome Debney (Sutherland), who hasn’t been heard from in over 50 years. And…most of his art went up in flames in a fire 50 years ago. Quite a coup!

No matter, Firueras is convinced interviewing Debney will give his writing career a shot in the arm (seems unlikely when you think about it). As it turns out there is some double dealing going on between Figueras and Cassidy that involves theft, lying and a touch of murder.

As the film’s plot reveals itself there are a few moments in the script that seem to ask serious questions about art, criticism and money. But honestly, much of it also sounds like pretentious dribble. But I guess that is to be expected with a film about art critics and dealers.

I was relatively happy I had seen the film. I enjoyed Claes Bang’s and, especially Elizabeth Debicki’s performance, although in true old Hollywood style, the female character gets the short end of the stick.

Still, its more thought-provoking than your standard block buster, so that’s something.

Marty Duda