Woman in Gold
Woman in Gold. A very beautiful story, with performances well done by Ryan Reynolds (The Proposal, Adventureland, Safe House) and Helen Mirren (RED, Hitchcock, Shadowboxer). With this film, we get the fantastic true story of a woman’s fight for what rightfully belongs to her after years of horrid injustice.
Mirren plays Maria Altmann a talkative though very charming Jewish woman who, after her sister’s recent funeral, finds old letters hinting at the possibility of a Will which proclaims her family as the rightful owner of a very famous Austrian painting. Hanging on the walls of one of Austria’s famous museums is the portrait ‘Woman in Gold’ or better known to Maria as ‘Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer’ the painting of her beloved aunt which was stolen from her family years ago by the Nazi’s. Curious if the letters might be on to something she asks for an old friends help to enlist in the legal advice from her son. In comes Reynolds character Randol (whom Maria lovingly calls Randy) Schoenberg an inexperienced lawyer who’s had a bit of bad luck lately with his career.
He is reluctant and uninterested in the story Maria has to offer, but after taking a look at the letters himself Randol believes there may be a possible case, thus forming an amusing and unlikely partnership between the two. So then it’s off to Vienna to find more supporting evidence, fight the Austrian Embassy, and to reunite Maria with the painting she loved so much as a child after more than sixty years.
Oh, how movies like these can be so heart-wrenching with the history that comes with it! I thought it was very skilled how scenes were fitted in to shine light on Maria’s past, upon her arrival to her home country the story breaks off into two settings so that we witness the injustice that fell upon Maria and her family first-hand and her present fight to get it back. Note, that there is nothing here as shocking and completely devastating as the film ‘The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas’, which has an ending of literally feeling as though someone has punched you in the stomach, but it will still leave you with a tragic feeling of loss for our main character just the same. The downside is that it can drag from here to there, but it’s just the minor details that need to be ironed out to help the movie along, though you may find yourself a little restless at times. Wait it out. That feeling passes quickly, I promise.
Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and brief strong language.
Rotten Tomatoes has this intriguing story at a 49% rotten.I think it deserves way better.
I’m really happy with Ryan in this film. Is it just me or is his acting getting better? Anyway, I said it once, I’ll say it again Woman in Gold is based on a true story which is pretty impressive and it’s nice to see a film depicting this particular time in our history where justice is actually served. If you’re not in the mood for one of the several fast car movies that came out this weekend I highly recommend it.