An aging art dealer — left behind by the corporatization of his industry and estranged from his family — hopes an undervalued icon will turn his fortunes around, in the latest from veteran Finnish director Klaus Härö.
Contemporary World Cinema
One Last Deal
Veteran Finnish filmmaker Klaus Härö (Mother of Mine) returns to the Festival with One Last Deal, about an aging art dealer whose last shot at the big time coincides with his last chance to reconnect with his estranged daughter and grandson.
An expert at complicated emotional dilemmas, Härö specializes in contradictory characters whose pride and obsessions battle with their better angels. But few of Härö’s creations are as divided as Olavi (Heikki Nousiainen, in a great hangdog performance), a work-obsessed dealer left behind by an industry favouring larger corporate conglomerates. There, algorithms have replaced instinct and knowledge about art history, leading the dealers near his dilapidated, overcrowded shop to miss what may be an obscure icon from a major Russian painter.
Getting the icon will require a lot of research and a little help, which he unexpectedly receives from his grandson, Otto. As Olavi schools the kid in how to navigate a cutthroat industry and research things you just can’t find via Google, he reconnects with his daughter, Lea, and rediscovers the family he’s missed. The big question, however, is whether he’ll sacrifice everything for that one last score.
Shot using a muted colour scheme, reflecting the look of Olavi’s rundown shop and the masterpieces he trades in, One Last Deal is a beautifully scaled and exquisitely honest tearjerker about the values we forget when we ignore the past — and what we lose when we become consumed by it.