The Burnt Orange Heresy

There's trouble in paradise
Verdict: 7/10 - This art thriller takes a while to get going but your patience will be rewarded with a gripping, heart-pounding finale.
Release Date: 
Friday, October 30, 2020
Written by: 

Claes Bang plays a shady art critic up to no good in Italy in this crime thriller.


Rolling Stones rocker Mick Jagger doesn't do acting very often so it's worth checking out The Burnt Orange Heresy just for his brief appearance alone.

The crime thriller stars Claes Bang as James Figueras, a shady Milan-based art critic who takes his new American love interest Berenice (Elizabeth Debicki) to the lakeside estate of wealthy British art dealer Joseph Cassidy (Mick Jagger), who reveals he has a secret houseguest - the legendary, reclusive artist Jerome Debney (Donald Sutherland) is living in a cabin on his estate and is working on paintings that he will show no one.

Cassidy makes Figueras an offer he simply can't refuse - to steal one the elusive artist's paintings.

The Burnt Orange Heresy is a slow burner that feels just like an intriguing art world drama for the majority of the film.

But rest assured, your patience will be rewarded with a heart-pounding finale. It really earns its thriller badge in the final 20-30 minutes, when the film takes an interesting and unexpected turn and gets really exciting and gripping.


Admittedly, in the middle, you can't help but wonder where it's going or if it's going to pick up, but it is never boring and pods along nicely, with many well-written conversations.

However, the lack of information about the lead characters is quite unsatisfying.

Debney is supposed to be the only enigmatic one, yet all of them are basically a mystery and seem to have darkness that is simmering just under the surface and never explored.

The film should have delved deeper into Figueras' chequered past and questionable professional decisions as well as the life Berenice left behind in America.

Bang's charm and charisma are likely to captivate the audience immediately and keep them watching as his relationship with Berenice as well as Cassidy's proposition unfolds.

Debicki delivers a reliably good performance, as ever, as the mysterious Berenice, and Sutherland makes an impact in his brief appearance as the cantankerous old painter.

Jagger, as to be expected, brings swagger and energy to his role, but it's impossible to believe him as another character. It's Mick Jagger!

The Burnt Orange Heresy takes a while to get going but your patience will be paid off in the end.

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