The Burnt Orange Heresy (Blu-ray Review)

Burnt Orange Heresy Blu-rayCharming and ambitious art critic, James Figueras played by Claes Bang, has fallen from grace. He spends his days in Milan lecturing witless tourists about art history. His only glimmer of hope is a newfound love interest, the enigmatic American, Berenice Hollis played by Elizabeth Debicki. An opportunity strikes when he is contacted by wealthy art dealer Joseph Cassidy played by Mick Jagger who summons James to his villa on Lake Como and asks him to steal a painting from the legendary reclusive artist, Jerome Debney played by Donald Sutherland. Soon, James greed and ambition get the better of him, and he finds himself caught in a web of his own making. The Burnt Orange Heresy is now available on Blu-ray from Sony Pictures Classics.

Burnt Orange Heresy Blu-ray



James Figueras (Claes Bang) is an art critic, with the smooth-talking sensibilities of a hustler. That’s his trade. He tells people what he wants to hear about art masterpieces and gets paid for it. When uber-rich art dealer Mick Jagger, I mean Joseph Cassidy, offers him the opportunity of a lifetime – who is he to refuse? Add Elizabeth Debicki and you know hijinks will ensue.

Once James is tasked with his mission of interviewing one of the world’s most reclusive artist, so reclusive that he has not released anything new in 50 years…yeah, James will have a bit of work to do. Oh, and said artist, Jerome Debney, is played by Donald Sutherland. Throw in the beautiful Berenice (Elizabeth Debicki) and all bets are definitely off.

On the surface, The Burnt Orange Heresy may seem like an “artsy fartsy” film. Hell, even the title sounds a bit pretentious, but that’s where it stops. Sure, it involves the art world, dealers, artists, but also the treachery involved in some of the transactions.

Claes Bang has been a busy boy these last couple of years and he plays the shady James character with class. Not only is he classy but beyond charming. Debicki provides some great levity and secrets of her own. Mick Jagger is the snake in the grass and Donald Sutherland is an ubermensch.

The Burnt Orange Heresy was also adapted by Scott B. Smith (A Simple Plan, The Ruins). Don’t let the title turn you off and don’t assume this is a boring “art film.” I wouldn’t even call it an art film. It’s a thriller and one that should be seen by more people.


Burnt Orange Heresy Blu-ray


Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Clarity/Detail: The Burnt Orange Heresy does not betray its roots in terms of transfer. The contrast and sharpness levels are outstanding. Keep in mind, they filmed most of the film Lake Como.

Depth: Lake Como has never looked better and this transfer brings the beauty of it all.

Black Levels: Black levels are deep and inky. I did not notice any instances of crush or shadow loss.

Color Reproduction: The colors, the colors. The color palette is outstanding. I did not notice pixilation or banding.

Flesh Tones: Flesh tones are great – everyone looks nice and healthy.

Noise/Artifacts: I did not notice any noise, debris, or artifacts.


Burnt Orange Heresy Blu-ray


Audio Format(s): English DTS HD-MA 5.1, English – Description Track Dolby Digital 5.1,

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Spanish French

Dynamics: The Burnt Orange Heresy is not one of those films to have a lot of action and stuff flying all over the place. What it does have is a very natural sound mix.

Low Frequency Extension: The LFE subwoofer channel does amp up during scenes involving speeding cars, fires, and one serious “thud.” If I told you what the thud was it would be a spoiler, so I will let you guess.

Surround Sound Presentation: This is a front driven film, with the surrounds tackling ambience, for the most part.

Dialogue Reproduction: This is also a dialogue driven film and everyone can be heard and understood loud and clear.


Burnt Orange Heresy Blu-ray


The Burnt Orange Heresy has an in-depth audio commentary by director Giuseppe Capotondi. A standard featurette and trailer round out the special features on this Blu-ray disc.

  • Commentary with Director Giuseppe Capotondi
  • Behind The Burnt Orange Heresy
  • Trailer


Burnt Orange Heresy Blu-ray


The Burnt Orange Heresy was an entertaining neo-noir type of film. The Blu-ray disc has great video and audio. The special features, especially the commentary, was a nice touch in this day and age of limited supplements. The Burnt Orange Heresy is recommended!


The images used above within the review are not actual Blu-ray screenshots. They are for illustrative purposes only.


The Burnt Orange Heresy is now available on Blu-ray!





Burnt Orange Heresy Blu-ray


Gerard Iribe is a writer/reviewer for Why So Blu?. He has also reviewed for other sites like DVD Talk, Project-Blu, and CHUD, but Why So Blu? is where the heart is. You can follow his incoherency on Twitter: @giribe

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