Woman in Gold


Action / Biography / Drama / History


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June 20, 2015 at 01:45 PM



Ryan Reynolds as Randy Schoenberg
Katie Holmes as Pam Schoenberg
Daniel Brühl as Hubertus Czernin
Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann
720p 1080p
810.78 MB
23.976 fps
1hr 49 min
P/S 8 / 118
1.64 GB
23.976 fps
1hr 49 min
P/S 8 / 46

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by David Ferguson ([email protected]) 7 / 10

Blending art, history, justice, and identity

Greetings again from the darkness. The responsibility of the filmmaker when the project is "based on a true story" is elevated when the story has significant historical relevance and blends such elements as art, identity, justice and international law. Add to those the quest of a remarkable woman whose family was ripped apart by Nazi insurgents, and more than a history lesson, it becomes a poignant personal story.

Helen Mirren portrays Maria Altmann, the woman who emigrated to the United States by fleeing her Austrian homeland during World War II, and leaving behind her beloved family and all possessions. After the death of her sister, Ms. Altmann becomes aware of the family artwork stolen by the Nazi's during the invasion. This is not just any artwork, but multiple pieces from famed Austrian artist Gustav Klimt … including "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer". See, Adele was Maria's aunt, and the stunning piece (with gold leaf accents) has become "the Mona Lisa of Austria", while hanging for decades in the state gallery.

The story revolves around Maria's partnering with family friend and upstart attorney Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds) to take on the nation of Austria and reclaim the (extremely valuable) artwork that was seized illegally so many years ago. They are aided in their mission by an Austrian journalist (played by Daniel Bruhl) who is fighting his own demons. The seven-plus year legal saga is condensed for the big screen and we follow Maria and Randol as they meet with the Austrian art reclamation committee, a federal judge (played by the director's wife Elizabeth McGovern), the U.S. Supreme Court (Jonathan Pryce as Chief Justice), and finally a mediation committee back in Austria. But this is not really a courtroom drama … it's a personal quest for justice and search for identity. What role does family roots and history play in determining who we are today? It's the age old question of past vs. present, only this is seen through the eyes of a woman who has survived what most of us can only imagine.

Director Simon Curtis (My Week with Marilyn) uses startling flashbacks (with Tatiana Maslany as the younger Maria) to provide glimpses of Maria's childhood through her marriage and subsequent escape. We get to know her family, including some scenes featuring Aunt Adele (Antje Traue), and Maria's father and uncle (Henry Goodman, Allan Corduner). We understand this family's place in society and just how dramatically they were impacted by the Nazi takeover.

Helen Mirren delivers yet another exceptional performance and manages to pull off the snappy lines without an ounce of schmaltz, while also capturing the emotional turmoil Ms. Altmann endures. Director Curtis and writer Alexi Kaye Campbell round off some of the rough edges and inject enough humor to prevent this from being the gut-wrenching process it probably was in real life. This approach makes the film, the story and the characters more relatable for most movie goers … and it's quite an enjoyable look at a fascinating woman and a pretty remarkable underdog story.

Reviewed by rapan-2 8 / 10

Well done and entertaining on a serious subject

just saw WOMAN IN GOLD and i must be of an entirely different demographic than some other reviewers, but i enjoyed it mightily. The audience obviously did also, as there was laughter and applause at various spots. The acting is wonderful and the story quite straightforward but done with both heart and a sense of humor. there is excellent use of flashback and lovely shots of Vienna. Angelenos will get a kick out of some of the recognizable LA landmarks. I have no idea of what the requested ten lines means, whether it is sentences or actual lines. It's a lovely movie. Not sophisticated but informative, entertaining and thought provoking with excellent acting from both the principals and supporting actors.

Reviewed by CleveMan66 10 / 10

"Woman in Gold" is a work of art in its own right.

When I review a movie, I ask myself but one question: How entertaining is it? Of course, such a thing is always a matter of opinion and depends on an individual's personal background, personality, tastes, preferences, interests, experiences, and so forth. As a reviewer who likes all kinds of movies and hopes these reviews will be helpful to all kinds of moviegoers, I'm as objective and open-minded as I can be. Regardless of its genre, its subject matter or its background, all I expect from a movie is to enjoy it. This attitude allows me the freedom to like movies of any and all kinds, regardless of whether others think that I'm "supposed" to like them or not. Did the movie's comedy make me laugh, did its a drama draw me in and make me care, did its thrilling moments… thrill me? Etc., etc. You get the point. I expect a film to entertain me – to make me FEEL something. But the best movies also inform, educate, enlighten and uplift. Oh, and bonus points for originality, creativity, and technical and artistic excellence. When you have the pleasure of seeing a film with all of those characteristics, it is a "must see". It is a treasure. It is… art. "Woman in Gold" (PG-13, 1:49) is such a film.

"Woman in Gold" is based on the true story of Maria Altmann, who, as a young woman (played by Tatiana Maslany of "Orphan Black" fame) fled her beloved Austria as the Nazi noose was tightening around the necks of her Jewish countrymen. Encouraged by her family and with her new husband by her side, she left behind the people, places and possessions she loved. One of those possessions was a Gustav Klimt painting of her dear aunt Adele (Antje Traue), a painting which would soon be taken by the Nazis and, after World War II, end up in a Vienna art museum where it became so revered that one character calls it "the Mona Lisa of Austria".

When Maria (played as an old woman by Dame Helen Mirren) loses her sister, she discovers some letters that, along with 1990s changes in Austrian law, make her think that she might reclaim what once belonged to her family. She enlists the help of Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), a friend's son, to look into the matter for her. Randy is a young attorney who has just started a new job and whose wife (Katie Holmes) is concerned about the impact of a lengthy case on their growing family, but he becomes obsessed with Maria's cause. In Austria, Randy gains the assistance of a local journalist (Daniel Bruhl), but this long and complicated bureaucratic and legal struggle may prove to be too much for any of them, or even all of them. If you ever start to think that this lengthy and emotionally taxing fight is merely about the extremely high value of the painting or even one woman's need for closure, you'll remember Maria ending a conversation about her motivations with "and then there's justice." "Woman in Gold" has something for everyone. It's an unusually dramatic history lesson, a riveting drama, an involving mystery, a fascinating legal thriller and a touching story of families and friendships. All members of the very talented cast bring their "A game", the writing is excellent and the editing is superb. All these factors come together in a narrative which transitions seamlessly between the story's present and its past, doing so as effectively as I've ever seen it done. The opening of the movie, a short scene involving the creation of the painting, effortlessly but effectively communicates how special the painting of the title really is. The film shows the plight of the Jews in Europe more personally than any film since "Schindler's List", but without being overwrought. It also sheds light on what it meant for a country to capitulate to the Nazis as well as the long-term effects of that chapter in history. Many scenes in the movie are dramatic and suspenseful, but the portion of the film in which Maria and her husband escape Austria is on par with the climactic scenes in Oscar-winning films like "Argo" and "The Sound of Music". Whichever genre or cubby hole that professional critics choose to place this movie in, it rises above most films to which it might be compared.

Like a great painting, a great film is a joy and an honor to see for yourself. I hope that "Woman in Gold" is remembered when all those gold statuettes are handed out this next awards season. The worth of the movie is, in the end, only my opinion, but this film informed me, educated me, enlightened me, uplifted me, and, as a wonderful work of art, it entertained me. "A+"

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