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In The Best Offer's denouement, as Oldman (Rush) begins to understand exactly what has happened, there is a series of events involving him going to a restaurant in Prague, moving into a new room furnished to his specifications, finding a tracker in the boot of his car, and eventually him in an asylum. What is the exact sequence of these events? What is their significance?

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6 Answers 6

This is my interpretation:

Remember this quotation:

Claire: In an old article of yours I found on the internet, you said: There's something authentic in every forgery. What did you mean?
Virgil Oldman: When simulating another's work the forger can't resist the temptation to put in something of himself. Often it's just a trifle, a detail of no interest. One unsuspected stroke, by which the forger inevitably ends up betraying himself, and revealing his own utterly authentic sensibilities.

In other words, in everything fake there is something real.

Now, remember Claire's words that Rush replayed in his mind during the ending scenes:

If anything should ever happen to us, I want you to know that I do love you.

At the end of the film, Rush moves into the room furnished to his specifications, overlooking the square. This was the only place Claire mentioned as ever feeling safe and comfortable.

By taking the apartment and going to the restaurant, he is showing hope that she will one day return - which is why he tells the waiter he is waiting for someone.

He is hoping she is the glimmer of truth in the massive forgery. He has lost everything and is a broken man - but he is clinging to hope that that one part of his life could be real.

However, there is another interesting issue to be discussed. Do the asylum scenes take place before or after the restaurant scene?

There is no correct answer to this. Perhaps he was in the asylum and reflected on the events, as the movie showed, during his time there and found some glimmer of hope and waited in the restaurant. Or perhaps he waited in the restaurant, became more and more broken and ended up in the asylum.

All in all, it's up to the viewer.

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I think VO(Rush) was in the Asylum shortly after the heist took place and this is where he looks back on the events that took place,this is when we see all he did prior to the asylum. The end is after leaving the asylum, believing he's figured out Claire's one true detail that "the forger" always leaves and moves to Prague with the belief that he'll one day find Claire at Nigh & Day.

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I agree with CNoel. It makes more sense that he was distraught first, then looked for 1 last hope in Prague. He could then accept the fraud when she did not show up at the pub. – TLD Jun 20 at 15:44
I agree with Cnoel. Prague was last event. But is there any possibility that virgil was right and could see her again and the love was true? – klaymen Jul 10 at 16:08

I loved this movie! I have to admit the ending was a bit baffling. In retrospect; I believe the ending was actually the ending. I think he ran to the villa, talked with the real Claire and figured out the truth. I think then he had the breakdown and eventually clung to hope which led him to wait for her to come back. Well anyway. Love is fleeting at best. Remember he also lost his first loves: his paintings of all the women he loved.

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I think that Virgil spent time at the asylum immediately after losing all his paintings, and Claire. While there, he realized everyone's role in the heist, and also reflected on his relationship with Claire. He was heartbroken and lost. It seems that he became healthier, and finally came to grips with it all. Later, going back out into the world, without gloves, and ready to face reality. Probably for the first time in his life.

Virgil went to Day and Night, a place full of gears and clocks, which somehow ties Robert into the scene where Virgil waits for Claire. Since Claire had mentioned the square as her favorite place, Virgil expected that he might find her there. Probably thinking that she might go into Day and Night.(Would she have shown up with Robert?)

I think that the love scene between Claire and Virgil was very special and believable, contrary to what I read in some professional reviews. He had never been with a woman before, except for his paintings. I found the scene very touching.

Also, there was no reason why Virgil would doubt Claire's love for him, as she convinced him that she was suffering from a serious nuerotic disorder, and came across as lonely and isolated. Claire convinced Virgil that he was the one man she could trust.

I saw this movie on demand only last night, and I really loved it. It was unpredicatable, and interesting.

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I believe Virgil ended up in the asylum a broken man and was reflecting on what happened. to him leading up to his hospitalization!

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My boyfriend and I really enjoyed this movie. He figured it out sooner than I did when Billy told him all things can be forged, even love. My boyfriend starting suspecting something might be up. – Carolyn Horricks Jan 23 at 21:43

I think that the only reason for Virgil to end up in an asylum would be because he was really suffering advancing dementia or Alzheimer's. But I believe he actually ends up living with the outside world for the first time, gloveless and breaking out of his routine. True it's sad he got taken, but in the end he was the one who was given the gift to break out of his shell, leaving behind in exchange all his fantasies or "forgeries" that were holding him back from truly living in reality. I think that this movie services as a bigger metaphor for how we often become stuck in the safety of our illusions rather than taking risks and getting hurt. The only difference was that Virgil was being taken for profit of money while he began to take profit for his heart and soul. This story to me can also be seen as redemption, whereby Virgil begins to slowly forfeit his materialistic desires and deceit of self and others for something more enduring and authentic. In a sense, Virgil becomes the authentic, living work of art rather than the forger hoarding authentic works of art. The ending idea where he's in an asylum only makes sense to me if he began losing his grasp of reality.- which is possible I suppose because if it happened that way, once he began living in reality, he could have snapped and it became too much for him to accept and handle. Still, if you're an optimist you would believe he began to flourish after being awakened, hence him beginning a new life in Prague, gloveless waiting with hope that his affair with fake Claire was more than just a scam. The movie is deliberately ambiguous at the end so that the viewer could decide based on their own views.

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