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The Last Vermeer
The Doorman “A Dutch Jew who fought with the
  Resistance during World War Two in
  Holland is assigned to discover
  who stole valuable paintings to sell to
  the Nazis; but while questioning a
  flamboyant and hedonistic Dutch artist
  and art dealer accused of collaborating
  and facing execution, he begins to
  believe the man is innocent and sets
  out to defend him in the intriguing true-
  life drama, The Last Vermeer...”

DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR Captain Joseph Piller (a sympathetic performance from Claes Bang: Television's Dracula; The Burnt Orange Heresy), a Dutch Jew, fought in the Resistance against the Occupation of Holland.

By contrast, flamboyant art dealer, painter and art lover Han van Meegeren (brilliantly portrayed by Guy Pearce: Television's A Christmas Carol; Mary Queen of Scots; Memento), whom Joseph has tracked down, seems to have spent the war hosting lavish, hedonistic gatherings attended by Germans.

“The Last Vermeer
is an engrossing,
revealing and well-paced
movie based on the
amazing real-life story of
a flamboyant Dutch art
forger who cheated death
after tricking Hitler’s
Hermann Göring...”
The film opens in May, 1945, three weeks after the fall of Hitler's Reich, when the private art collection of Hitler's second-in-command, Hermann Göring, stolen during Holland's Occupation, is found hidden in a railway car in an Austrian salt mine. Included in the collection is the painting Christ and the Adultress, which has been attributed to Johannes Vermeer.

Now the war is over, Joseph is commissioned by the Allied Command to investigate the theft of stolen priceless art treasures; finding out who stole them and who sold them to the Nazis. His work puts a further strain on his marriage, as he and his wife Leez (Marie BachHansen) both have issues stemming from their individual roles during the war.

Joseph's investigations lead him to the amusing and egotistical Han van Meegeren, who admits he sold Christ and the Adultress to Göring for a staggering one and a half million gilders; but he denies collaborating with the Germans and insists that he did not steal the painting, despite evidence against him.

With the help of his assistant, widowed Minna Holmberg (Luxembourg actress Vicky Krieps), and former fellow Resistance fighter Esper Dekker (Roland Mřller), Joseph brings the artist to his base at the Goudstikker Gallery in Amsterdam to question him before imprisoning him to await trial for war crimes. Collaboration is a capital offence so, if found guilty, he will be executed.

Joseph is scathing of the Dutch government, which is desperate to take back complete control. Detective Alex De Klerks (August Diehl) of the Ministry of Justice attempts to take over the prosecution of van Meegeren, belittling Joseph's competence as an investigator, but Joseph is determined to see his task through.

Playing a game of words, van Meegeren mysteriously appears to know more about Joseph than he should. The artist requests that his model, assistant and mistress Cootje Henning (Olivia Grant) should bring him his paint, brushes and canvas so he can paint.

Joseph speaks to Dirk Hannema (Adrian Scarborough), an art expert from a museum, who verifies that Christ and the Adultress is a true Vermeer but he dismisses van Meegeren as a failure as a painter and not much of an art dealer.

With the Allied Provisional Government shortly to return responsibility to the Dutch government, will Joseph be able to prove to the court at his trial that the over-confident, conceited and seemingly undaunted van Meegeren is as innocent as he now believes him to be or will further evidence prove otherwise?

The Last Vermeer is an engrossing, revealing and well-paced movie based on a true story. Dan Friedkin's debut as a director also presents an opportunity for an interesting insight into the art of famed Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer. The film's images of the aftermath of war include a woman in a makeshift tent and a poignant image of a little girl standing among the ruins.

The Last Vermeer also features: Karl Johnson as Bernard Bakker; Andrew Havill as Maarten Wooning; Paul Bentall as Chief Judge; Susannah Doyle as Johana van Meegeren; Oliver Ryan as Jerome Heidjen; Simon Paisley Day as Rienstra van Stuyvesant; and Tom Mulheron as Finn.

Music is by Johan Söderqvist; Director of Photography is Remi Adefarasin; Written by John Orloff (as James McGee), Mark Fergus and Hawk Ostby; Based on the book The Man Who Made Vermeers by Jonathan Lopez; Produced by Sabine Brian (The Netherlands), Danny Friedkin, Ryan Friedkin and Bradley Thomas; Executive Producers include Ridley Scott; and Directed by Dan Friedkin.

* Filmed in Portsmouth, England, and Dordrecht and Schiedam, Netherlands, artwork thriller The Last Vermeer is available to Download and Keep and to Rent on Digital on 1 March 2021. Certificate: 15 | Running Time: 118 Minutes.

"The Last Vermeer is an engrossing, revealing and well-paced movie based on the amazing real-life story of a flamboyant Dutch art forger who cheated death after tricking Hitler’s second-in-command Hermann Göring..." **** Maggie Woods, MotorBar