This film is Finnish, with subtitles. That immediately makes it interesting – plus the fact that it’s about art.More precisely, it’s about an elderly art shop owner, Okavi, who is not doing very well and is looking to retire. His One Last Deal is to buy an undervalued painting from the auction house next door, and sell it for a profit. One wonders what other deals he has made?
He has a kind friend, but a very poor relationship with his daughter (divorced) and his teenage grandson.
The film is interesting on several levels. For one thing, it’s always raining in Helsinki, although people don’t appear to live badly – that is, apart from his daughter, who seems to live on a unattractive construction block outside the city, with little in the way of pavements or amenities.
The art shop also seems dark, although it is quite spacious, as is the proprietor’s apartment. The shop has many paintings, and he doesn’t go for the current fashion of having them backed by aubergine painted walls. They are not, in my view, great paintings; even the Seascape, which a couple show interest in buying, doesn’t appeal to me.
But the painting he buys at the auction house (Dubrowski’s) grows on one. At first, one is a bit ho-hum about it, but later, after he has brought it home, it looks wonderful (reminding this viewer of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and Salvator Mundi).
Okavi has to borrow the 10,000 euros (plus costs) to buy the painting. He sells his late wife’s jewelry and goes to other extreme measures to buy it. One wonders why his only daughter didn’t get her mother’s jewelry.
We enjoyed this movie. It was an interesting and thought-provoking tale of loneliness, old age, a failing business, and fractured family relationships, with an interesting view of Finland and some rather nice paintings.
We are enjoying the Exhibition series about famous artists: lately Degas, Young Picasso (including his Blue Period and his Rose Period). We are looking forward to films about Rembrandt and Van Gogh. These films always provoke a good discussion.
Recently I went to a University of the Third Age lecture about famous art thefts. Wow!