The Best Offer

Giuseppe Tornatore (Cinema Paradiso) wrote and directed this romantic mystery, which takes place in the present but feels like a 19th-century gothic novel. A cold-hearted art auctioneer (Geoffrey Rush) agrees to value the collection of a recently deceased wealthy couple, whose agoraphobic daughter hasn’t left the family estate in years and refuses to show herself to strangers. Tornatore conjures a tantalizing mood as he charts the auctioneer’s growing fascination with the woman and her labyrinthine home; unfortunately, this mood dissipates once Tornatore starts to resolve the film’s various mysteries, and the resolution goes on for far too long. The movie’s an eyeful, though, thanks to the intricate production design and many artworks on display; it’s also an earful, thanks to Ennio Morricone’s fittingly lush score. With Donald Sutherland and Jim Sturgess.