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I suffered through half this film before I switched to "Dr. Strangelove" on TCM. It is yet more proof that the "Hallmark Hall of Fame" has become hopelessly bad. Glenn Close misleadingly gets top billing, and delivers a magnificent performance, but she is in less than a third of the film. Her performance as an art enthusiast makes everyone else, including the usually reliable Ellyn Burstyn, seem even worse.
The film, following the pattern of such films as "The Red Violin", tells the stories of several owners of a beautiful lost Vermeer painting through the centuries. Perhaps the producers of this mawkish telefilm were hoping that lightning would strike twice, but if so, they forgot the need for subtle writing and direction, which are both hopelessly sentimental and hardly above the level of soap opera in this film. Ms. Close, as if sensing this, gives a performance that wipes away everyone else. In fact, the acting, with the exception of Close, is uniformly bad, as if we were watching a bad daytime drama in period costume.
The people who made this film obviously thought that by tackling an intellectual, sophisticated subject like a great Vermeer painting they could give the "Hallmark Hall of Fame" the class it once had, but they forgot to leave behind their recent tendency for corny writing and dramatics.
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