The Last Vermeer

Movie review by Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media
The Last Vermeer Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 15+

Post-WWII drama paints intriguing but mature picture.

R 2020 118 minutes

Parents say

age 16+

Based on 2 reviews

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Not great.

This is not for kids has a huge amount of smoked and bit of nudity so forth, film its self was just OK at best.

This title has:

Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 15+

The Last Vermeer - Did He or Didn't He?

This very good-looking production dares to take on several contentious issues. Such as the role of the Dutch resistance before and after the fall of the Reich, the level of collaboration within Dutch government (only hinted at here) and society. Also, the importance of art as a social and economic construct v/s the assessment of talent. Who decides which is more important when it comes to art, the government, the art dealers, historians, the people? Surely not the general public, the majority can’t afford town it, so it falls to who is left and what they want to achieve from the outcome – after all, every country strives for great writers and artists to lift their world standing. Here we have a unique story about a master art forger, Han van Meergeren, fundamentally a crook - who may have fooled the Nazis, or did he collaborate with them? It’s good to see such high production values being invested in a quality movie set in the aftermath of WW11. As in all ‘fact’ based movies, facts can be a movable feast but at least we see glimmers of situations being dealt with as they might have occurred during these times. Performances are also of high quality - even though perhaps, some may have been cast rather manipulatively IE; maybe those who are shown to have collaborated, being somewhat typecast on the weak side? Maybe they were but in movies, this can come across as a form of biased hate revenge. The courtroom scenes are well-staged and hold interest throughout and certainly cast doubt on the ability of art ‘experts’ to prove their claims. That said, it also raises the question of whether our art forger really is a hero, or just another opportunistic collaborator? Will we ever know? Several trials over many decades have followed, raising doubts over the authenticity of these ‘forgeries’, bringing into further question the claims of the Dutch government and many so-called art experts. The fact that it’s taken so many tests and trials - over such a long time span, makes one question our ability to fully confirm these facts. Recommended viewing for serious lovers of movies dealing with historical themes.

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