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The Best Offer includes a lot of symbolism revolving around the automaton that plays an important role in the film. Besides the automaton itself, there are a lot of gears and pieces of clockwork. Then there's the midget dwarf lady from the café who is often seated like a doll, has perfect memory, and drones on about numbers like a machine.

What does all this symbolism signify?

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I've been trying to figure this out as well. Why link the automaton to the dwarf? For the automaton to work fully it required a brilliant dwarf. Possibly for the stealing scheme to fully work they also had to use a brilliant dwarf. Symbolizes the fake artist showing his brushstroke. There's always clues in a forgery and Oldman ignored them when they were right in front of him mulitpe times. Also through the movie the viewer might be lead to think the dwarf is trying to steal the automaton. Gets your mind falsely pondering.

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