Movie Review | Woman in Gold

Today's movie review is of Woman in Gold, directed by Simon Curtis (My Week with Marilyn) and starring Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann, a plucky Jewish refugee who takes on the Austrian government to recover artwork she believes rightfully belongs to her family.

That piece of artwork is none other than the well-known Gustav Klimt painting from his golden period. The movie tells the story of Maria and moreover, her pugnacious lawyer, Randy Schoenberg (played by Ryan Reynolds) and their journey to return the painting to her family.

Adele Bloch-Bauer I
Orphans Tatiana Maslany does a great job portraying the young Maria and as such, I found the historical scenes to be the most rich. Reynolds makes a strong effort in his role, but seems a little out of place playing a Jewish lawyer with bad teeth, though his comedic contributions were more relaxed than Mirren's forced humor. Rounding out the cast is Daniel Bruhl as a somber and serious journalist, and Katie Holmes as the exasperated baby-wielding wife.

The film excelled at marrying historical flashbacks with present day (1998) to tell the story of how the painting came to be, how it was stolen by the Nazis, and how Maria and Randy navigated the Austrian Art Restitution Law as well as the US Supreme Court. Though the outcome of the film is no surprise, the drama and anticipation as they faced each challenge was no less riveting and one couldn't help but root for the duo to not give up hope.

Woman in Gold is a story of perseverance, but at its core it is a story about family. Despite the setbacks that Maria Altmann faced, the Bloch-Bauer family lives on through this film. The movie will be released next year.

Score: 8/10
+ Interesting history and background of Austrian art and culture
- A few too many scenes of Reynolds and Mirren emoting

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