Woman in Gold
We didn't come here to eat cake
Hoyts Melbourne Central - Sunday 31 May 2015, 3:50pm
Running time: 109m
Country: United Kingdom
Classification: M (Infrequent coarse language)
Release date: 21/05/15
Cost: $10 (Optus Rewards)
Rating: 6.5/10 (ME 2.5/5, DP 4/5)
Woman in Gold is based on a true story and stars Helen Mirren as Maria Altman, a headstrong immigrant from a wealthy Jewish family, forced to flee Vienna at the start of the Second World War, leaving behind her family and all of her possessions. Maria enlists the help of a family friend, Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), to assist her with a claim against the government of Austria. Maria seeks to reclaim Gustav Klimt's iconic (and now EXTREMELY valuable) painting of her aunt "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer", more commonly recognised as Woman in Gold, which was confiscated from her relatives by the Nazis as the War started. Maria and Randy are assisted by Austrian investigative journalist Hubertus Czernin (Daniel Brühl) as they try to convince a newly formed committee on art reclamation that the stolen Klimt paintings are rightfully and legally hers. Together they take their legal battle all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States.
This movie is enjoyable, very well acted and well written, presenting a captivating true life story. Flashbacks are employed to reveal the origins of the artwork and Maria's past, both good times and bad, with the young Maria, played stoically and at times quite poignantly by Tatiana Maslany. In the present, we witness Maria remembering her past as she is forced to deal with it to move forward.
The chemistry between Reynolds and Mirren was delightful to watch, delivering much humour, including some memorable one-liners by Mirren (many already seen in the trailer, as happens all too often these days). The courtroom scenes dominated by Reynolds weren’t especially outstanding but were still done well and supposedly were very true to the actual proceedings. There is really nothing new in this film concerning the art that was stolen by the Nazis during World War II, but it was an interesting and well developed movie that is definitely worth seeing if you can. (DP)
22nd Screen Actors Guild Awards