It was quite refreshing watching this very original post-WWII movie which tells the story of little-known Dutch folk hero Han Van Meegeren, regarded as one of the most ingenious art forgers in history. He swindled millions of guilders from Nazi officers by selling them his own forgeries of 17th Century painter Johannes Vermeer’s artwork.
Set in Holland, 1945 three weeks after the fall of Hitler’s Third Reich convicted collaborators with the enemy were being executed. Meegeren was charged and defended in court by a Jewish Captain who believed he was innocent of these charges.
But was this man who was regarded by most as a’ raging narcissist’ and by others as ‘the life of every party’ conspiring with the enemy and perhaps even a Nazi spy?
Australian actor Guy Pearce has come a long way since his breakout role in the 1990s hit The Adventures Of Priscilla, Queen Of The Desert. Significantly, it’s his flamboyant and memorable portrayal of Han Van Meegeran which shines and keeps audiences captivated in what would otherwise have been a well-produced, yet banal cinematic achievement.