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The Burnt Orange Heresy is a 2019 drama thriller film directed by Giuseppe Capotondi and with a screenplay by Scott Smith. It is based on the book of the same name by Charles Willeford. The film stars Claes Bang, Elizabeth Debicki, Mick Jagger, and Donald Sutherland.

It was selected as the closing film at the 76th Venice International Film Festival. It was released on March 6, 2020, by Sony Pictures Classics.



In February 2018, Elizabeth Debicki and Christopher Walken were cast in the film adaptation of Charles Willeford's book The Burnt Orange Heresy, to play Berenice Hollis and an artist Jerome Debney, respectively.[3] In April 2018, Claes Bang joined the film to play the lead role of James Figueras, a fiercely ambitious art critic and thief.[4] In early September 2018, Mick Jagger was cast to play Joseph Cassidy, an art dealer.[5] In late September 2018, Donald Sutherland was cast in the film, replacing Walken, to play an enigmatic painter who becomes the target of an art-world heist.[6]

Principal photography on the film began late September 2018 in Lake Como, Italy.[6]


The film had its world premiere at the Venice International Film Festival on September 7, 2019.[7] Shortly after, Sony Pictures Classics acquired distribution rights to the film.[8] It was released on March 6, 2020.[9] Following the closure of theaters a week later due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Sony Pictures Classics opted to hold the film for when theaters re-open instead of putting the film on digital platforms.[10] It was re-released on August 7, 2020.[11]

Critical reception

As of August 2020, the film holds a 65% approval rating on review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, based on 97 reviews, with a weighted average of 6.2/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "The Burnt Orange Heresy has a certain stylish charm, even if -- much like the art world it depicts -- it'll strike some viewers as pretentious."[12] On Metacritic, the film holds a rating of 55 out of 100, based on 18 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[13]


  1. The Burnt Orange Heresy (2020). Retrieved on September 1, 2020.
  2. The Burnt Orange Heresy (2020). Retrieved on September 1, 2020.
  3. "Christopher Walken, Elizabeth Debicki Join Neo-Noir Thriller 'Burnt Orange Heresy' (Exclusive)", The Hollywood Reporter, February 15, 2018. Retrieved on October 13, 2018. (in en) 
  4. "Claes Bang Joins Christopher Walken, Elizabeth Debicki in ‘The Burnt Orange Heresy’", Variety, April 24, 2018. Retrieved on October 13, 2018. 
  5. "Mick Jagger Joins Heist Thriller ‘Burnt Orange Heresy’", Variety, September 6, 2018. Retrieved on October 13, 2018. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Donald Sutherland Joins 'Burnt Orange Heresy' Cast", The Hollywood Reporter, September 27, 2018. Retrieved on October 13, 2018. (in en) 
  7. Vivarelli, Nick (22 July 2019). ‘The Burnt Orange Heresy,’ With Mick Jagger and Donald Sutherland, to Close Venice. Retrieved on 22 July 2019.
  8. Lang, Brent (September 16, 2019). Toronto: Sony Pictures Classics Buys ‘The Burnt Orange Heresy’ (EXCLUSIVE). Retrieved on September 16, 2019.
  9. The Burnt Orange Hersey. Retrieved on November 28, 2019.
  10. Thompson, Anne (March 27, 2020). Let Other Studios Race to VOD; Sony Pictures Classics Believes It’s Theaters or Nothing. Retrieved on March 27, 2020.
  11. D'Alessandro, Anthony (June 16, 2020). Sony Pictures Classics Sets August Release For ‘The Burnt Orange Heresy’. Retrieved on June 16, 2020.
  12. The Burnt Orange Hersey (2020). Retrieved on June 28, 2020.
  13. The Burnt Orange Hersey Reviews. Retrieved on June 28, 2020.

External links