Woman in Gold
Maria Altmann, an octogenarian Jewish refugee, takes on the Austrian government to recover artwork she believes rightfully belongs to her family.
Release Date: April 01, 2015
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Grade: A- In a Nutshell: This is a fascinating, true story about a woman’s and nation's journey toward justice and peace after the Holocaust. The film has heart, humor, and history as the David vs. Goliath story unfolds. Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds demonstrate a quirky chemistry as two Americans with unique and prestigious roots in Austria. The value of art is not monetary, but about the feelings it evokes when we experience it. Great art should stir our humanity, don't you think? Film is art too and this one does just that very well. Uplifting Theme: · “Your only enemy is fear.” – Adele · Maria wants restitution and defines it as: “to return something to its original state.” She learns that we can never be the same after life’s experiences. * "Remember us." - Maria's father. We need to never remember what happened to the world during the horrific Holocaust so that we don't repeat it. We also need to see some of the atrocity's that are still happening in the world today and stop them. Things I liked: · The woman in gold may actually be the talented Helen Mirren, winner of the prestigious golden statue named Oscar. She always brings grace, elegance and wise maturity to any role. I simply adore her. She’s believable as a moody Austrian who struggles with pain and pride. · I loved that Casting found an actress (Antje Traue) who very closely resembles the real Adele Bloch-Bauer who was portrayed in Gustav Klimpt's famous painting “Woman in Gold.” Maria learns that Adele’s name was removed from the title of the artwork by the Nazis to hide the fact that she was Jewish, exclaiming “Her identity was stolen as well.” · The plot may be simple, but it’s still a remarkable story. Things I didn’t like: · Helen Mirren wears dark contact lenses to make her look more like the real Maria Altmann. I wasn’t bothered by it, but some people say they were distracted. Whatever. If that’s the worst thing you can say about her performance… · The court scenes didn't quite reach the status and thrill of To Kill a Mockingbird , but they're still inspiring. · Katie Holmes is sleepy in bed during most of her scenes in the movie. They could have cast me in that role. · Sadly, there was no one in the audience under the age of 50 when I watched this movie. All you young ones out there may feel the need for more speed, but you’re missing a little gem in this film. Wow, that sentence made me sound so old. Funny lines: · “Against my better judgement, I think I like you.” – Randy · “Smile Maria. It’s good to exercise your facial muscles once a year.” – Maria’s father · “My sister finally decided to move in with me. The only problem is she didn’t do it until she’s dead.” – Maria · “This is like a James Bond film and you’re Sean Connery.” – Maria to Randy · “I want to go to Austria with my daughter some day. She loves kangaroos.” – Dumb clerk Interesting lines: · “I have to keep these memories alive, you see, especially because the young forget.” – Maria · “What’s in it for you?” Randy “Let’s just say it’s a very particular brand of patriotism.” – Austrian journalist · “It’s hard to believe Hitler applied to be an art student here.” – Randy “I wish they had accepted him.” – Maria Tips for Parents: · Children may be bored with the legalese in court scenes and the slow drama. The subject matter of the Holocaust is dark, although the film doesn’t show some of the horrors of the time like other Holocaust movies do. · 1 F-bomb, but very little “other” profanity. Want to know more? I studied abroad in Spain and traveled to Vienna back in the 80’s before the Judenplatz Holocaust memorial was built. It is a somber, haunting structure that makes you feel uncomfortable intentionally. It honors the 65,000 murdered Austrian Jews during WWII. If you’re fascinated by the history of artwork stolen by the Nazis during WWII, you’ll enjoy learning more in the film The Monuments Men You can read my review of that movie here. The Rape of Europa can be watched for free on Netflix right now!January 5th, 2017 · Details
This movie is remarkable. It's a great story with some humorous dialogue intermixed. Loved the performances here. Parents: I remember one clear f-bomb in the movie that could be awkward if you're watching it with your children. I don't think a lot of kids would love this show anyway, but many adults could enjoy it.July 14th, 2015 · Details
Movies based on historical events can sometimes feel anachronistic. They might be interesting and engaging, but not particularly relevant to the world we live in today. Woman in Gold doesn't fall into that trap. Not only is this John Grisham-esque courtroom drama an engaging David-vs.-Goliath tale, its poignant and painful recollection of the Holocaust feels like an important reminder at a very critical point in our history, a time when violent anti-Semitism is again on the rise across Europe. And Woman in Gold manages to make its hard-hitting points without delving into the kind of hard-core content that many other films chronicling European Jews' tragic plight under Hitler's murderous Third Reich deliver. So its reach can be more properly extended as it confronts us with a sobering reminder of what evil leaders and the regimes in their thrall are capable of if left unchecked.Click here to read the full review
The elegant lady of the title and three other captives profiled in director Simon Curtis' film aren't, in fact, human beings but exquisite paintings by the Austrian artist Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) that were stolen from their rightful owners by the Nazis. The fascinating story of the struggle for their restitution provides the basis for Curtis' intriguing dramatization.Click here to read the full review
In spite of its bureaucratic plot, “Woman in Gold” employs excellent storytelling to keep the audience in suspense and emotionally connected to its outcome. It obviously helps to have someone of Mirren’s caliber in the lead role, though Reynolds also puts out a good performance as he traces Schoenberg’s character arc.Click here to read the full review
Woman in Gold's true story of a gilded painting stolen by the Nazis is intrinsically fascinating, but it lacks luster due to stodgy storytelling.Click here to read the full review