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The Art of the Steal: A TIFF Review of ‘Lyrebird’

September 11, 2019Ben MK

The end of the Second World War marked the end of a long, arduous road for millions of soldiers on both sides of the conflict. But for some, the fall of Hitler's Third Reich was just the beginning of their mission.

When Captain Joseph Hiller (Claes Bang) was tasked with bringing to justice the man who stole a painting by Johannes Vermeer titled "Christ and the Adulteress" and sold it to the Nazis, he thought it would be relatively straightforward. What he never imagined was that he would be defending the innocence of an art forger named Han Van Meegeren (Guy Pearce), a man so brilliant and yet so devious that he was able to dupe not only the Nazis' upper ranks, but the art world's most seasoned experts as well.

Directed by Dan Friedkin, the resulting tale about this little-known chapter in history proves authentically engaging, making Lyrebird a worthy addition to the pantheon of post-war movies about the period.

Lyrebird makes its international premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. Its runtime is 1 hr. 57 min.

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