An American art appraiser, Patrick Donovan, is sent to Venice to evaluate three paintings belonging to the famous Galleria dell'Accademia. The company that insures the paintings has hired ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
...
...
Dina Gusmano
Gaetano Carotenuto ...
Tedeschi
...
...
Taddeo Rossi
Antonella Ponziani ...
Giovanna Zanon
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Claude Breda
...
Journalist
Mehran Khalili ...
Waiter
Yura Marin ...
Aldo Nicolussi
Jessica Reavis ...
Gothic
Roya Zargar ...
Journalist
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Storyline

An American art appraiser, Patrick Donovan, is sent to Venice to evaluate three paintings belonging to the famous Galleria dell'Accademia. The company that insures the paintings has hired Donovan's employer, the International Center for Art Authentication, to verify that two Bellini canvases as well as the crown jewel of the museum's collection - Giorgione's 'La Tempesta' - are originals. Donovan contacts Allart van Beuningen, the director of the Accademia Museum, examines the two Bellinis and confirms that they are authentic. But before he can check 'La Tempesta', with floodwaters rising and the Galleria closed to the public, the painting is stolen by assailants who attack Donovan and Van Beuningen's beautiful adopted daughter, Chiara, a professional art restorer who works at the Museum. When the painting gets stolen, Donovan has to turn into a detective in order to try to track down the thief and recover the canvas. Soon Donovan's investigations reveal a sophisticated forgery ... Written by d

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Plot Keywords:

stolen art | female nudity | See All (2) »

Genres:

Thriller | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content and brief nudity | See all certifications »
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Release Date:

10 May 2004 (Luxembourg)  »

Also Known As:

Der Venedig Code  »

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2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Nothing to write home about...
29 June 2006 | by (Berlin, Germany) – See all my reviews

I saw this film at its Moscow Film Festival screening last night at the newfangled Oktyabr multiplex. Mercifully, they showed it in English with Russian subtitles on a readout below the screen. Thankfully there was no stupid voice-over or dubbing translation, which is what you normally get in Russian cinemas.

TEMPESTA was intriguing in its premise, but falls absolutely flat in terms of execution. The film does show you something of a new world -- that of the profession of art authenticator. The authentication sequences are absorbing in terms of showing how possibly state-of-the-art technology and the authenticator's know-how are used to determine whether a painting is genuine or not. You do learn things like cobalt being a pigment that was first used in the 19th century and so couldn't be used in paintings from the turn of the 15th to the 16th century, but it feels like either there should be some more exposition of this kind or that it would be better off in a documentary about art authentication.

The film's one redeeming quality is its fairly intricate cinematography, which is well-lit, has some elaborate multiple dissolves and picture-postcard views of Venice. It really made me want to go to Venice. The carnival sequence even has a slight raciness about it that makes one a bit pumped to go for the promise of some Italian hot tuna. I'm a bit surprised they didn't try to premiere this at the Venice Film Festival.

I went to go see the film on the strength of the male supporting cast; namely, Rutger Hauer, Malcolm McDowell and Tcheky Karyo. Now the former two actors tend to do a lot of straight-to-video schlock, but in the right project, they could be dynamite. This is not that kind of project, and while McDowell livens the proceedings up with his haughty, snooty turn as an art historian with some secrets, Hauer just walks nonchalantly through his role as Van Beunigen, the director of the Galleria dell'Accademia. However, to be fair to Hauer, he isn't given much to do. Paul Guilfoyle's stint as the mafiosi Rossi has a bit of spark and kind of reminds me a little of William Hurt in A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE. The other performances (including the young leads) are pretty wooden and misdirected for the most part.

The whole story of skulduggery in the Venice art world is pretty anemic. Despite the seemingly dynamic thefts and bravura stiletto-in-the-eye killings, it strangely lacks dramatic thrust and is never in the least bit convincing. The love interest situation is pat and even slightly comical rather than involving or in the least bit erotic. In general, the proceedings have a sort of phoned-in quality similar to the lead character's conversation with the insurance company that hired him back in New York.

The initial cast listing on IMDb.com was perplexing as it listed McDowell and Karyo as playing a character named Valenzin. One thing's for sure: there is only one Valenzin character in the film and Karyo is definitely NOT playing him, which leads me to believe that he was supposed to be cast, but was replaced by McDowell. Oh, well, so much the better for Karyo in a way. At least he doesn't have another sub-par movie in his resume.


11 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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