The Best Offer( Italian :La migliore offerta) is a 2013 Italian romantic mystery film written and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore . The film stars Geoffrey Rush , Jim Sturgess , Sylvia Hoeks , and Donald Sutherland , and the music score is composed by Ennio Morricone .
The film tells a story of love and deceit, set in Europe ( Trieste , Bolzano , Fidenza , Rome , Milan , Merano , Vienna , Prague ) in the world of high-end art auctions and antiques. The story revolves around Virgil Oldman ( Geoffrey Rush ), an elderly and esteemed, but somewhat eccentric, managing director of an auction house. Oldman is hired by a reclusive young heiress, Claire Ibbetson ( Sylvia Hoeks ), to auction off the large collection of art and antiques left to her by her parents. For some reason, Claire always refuses to be seen in person. An astute young artificer, Robert ( Jim Sturgess ), aids Oldman in restoring and reassembling some odd mechanical parts he finds amongst Claire's belongings, while also giving him advice on how to befriend her, and how to deal with his feelings towards her. Oldman's poise and prestige is counterpointed by an ongoing scam whereby his friend Billy Whistler ( Donald Sutherland ) helps him to acquire a secret private collection of master paintings. Oldman eventually begins a relationship with Ibbetson, compromising his work. At the peak of the relationship, Claire overcomes her fear of the outside world and goes on to live with Virgil, who trusts the fragile Claire enough to show her his priceless collection of portraits. Virgil returns home one day to find his entire collection and Claire gone, realising that he was all part of Whistler's elaborate scam. After months of recovering from the ultimate betrayal, Virgil takes a trip to Prague, and sits in a restaurant that Claire had once suggested, waiting alone.