Masterpiece (2012) – By Philip Smolen

“Masterpiece” is a 12 minute short film from Ireland. It is produced by 50 LB Films and written and directed with style by Pauric Brennan. It tells the fictional story of a priceless painting stolen from a Paris Museum and the various attempts by individuals to obtain it and to prevent other people from getting it.

This is a clever and appealing short, with everyone in the cast double and triple crossing each other. It is fun, sly and irresistible. I was smiling for the entire 12 minutes. Even the final credits are terrific as Brennan places his cast in the same poses as some very famous paintings, accompanied by a cool jazz score.

The cast oozes charisma. Even though they only have 12 minutes, they manage to imbue their characters with wit and charm. Suszie Houlihan is marvelous as Angela, the cocksure manager of an art holding company. Yvonne Murphy also shines as a rich, haughty socialite who schemes against her husband (Barrington Cullen).

My only concern with “Masterpiece” is that it may have limited audience appeal due to its subject matter. But if you like movies about deception, you should definitely search out “Masterpiece”. It’s a total delight.

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