7.5/10 With audiences waiting for big budget blockbusters to return to cinemas, I am thankful for smaller, less advertised films such as this one being able to have a spot in theaters and let people have the chance to check it out in the meantime. “The Last Vermeer” is a film I didn’t know much about before seeing it, hails from film makers whose careers I have not followed and starts off fairly slowly for a film. As the opening act concluded, I worried I might lose interest and wondered where the film would go. Thankfully, the further along the film goes, the stronger it gets. The second and third acts become enthralling the more we discover about Han Van Meegeren, played fabulously and flamboyantly by the underrated Guy Pearce. In the beginning we don’t know the players well and what is true and what is false. The more the story unravels and the more facts we as the audience are given, the more we care about these well-developed characters, yet still question their motives. What’s great about this screenplay is that we get to know most of the main characters and they are layered, complicated and conflicted souls whose lives are on the line. The fact that everything that happens in this film is based on a true story and one I had never even heard of, blew my mind since the events of the film are memorable and noteworthy. The acting is top notch, the score is subtle but effective and the production and costume designs recreate their 1940s setting with ease. With so many WWII era films around, this one is able to stand out as a memorable one and one worth seeking out. As for the negative aspects, as I mentioned, the film does start a bit slowly. Some of the supporting characters were great but not nearly as developed as the leads were. Finally, as well done as this film is, it seems like a one off that I have no real desire to revisit again; lacking replayability. The ending involving Meegeren’s character did leave me with some unanswered questions, but I guess I am free, like anyone, to do some research online outside of the theater. Minor flaws aside, this is a fascinating, well written film that is definitely worth checking out, even if for one, singular viewing. First time director Dan Friedkin shows a lot of promise and like the subject of this film, is an artist worth keeping an eye on.
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