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Woman in Gold

Woman in Gold

Justice is priceless.Apr. 10, 2015 UK120 Min.PG-13
Your rating: 0
9.6 1,015 votes

Video trailer

Director

Simon Curtis
Director

Cast

Helen Mirren isMaria Altmann
Maria Altmann
Ryan Reynolds isRandol Schoenberg
Randol Schoenberg
Tatiana Maslany isYoung Maria Altmann
Young Maria Altmann
Katie Holmes isPam Schoenberg
Pam Schoenberg
Max Irons isFritz Altmann
Fritz Altmann
Daniel Brühl isHubertus Czernin
Hubertus Czernin
Elizabeth McGovern isJudge Florence-Marie Cooper
Judge Florence-Marie Cooper
Antje Traue isAdele Bloch-Bauer
Adele Bloch-Bauer

Synopsis

Maria Altmann, an octogenarian Jewish refugee, takes on the Austrian government to recover a world famous painting of her aunt plundered by the Nazis during World War II, she believes rightfully belongs to her family. She did so not just to regain what was rightfully hers, but also to obtain some measure of justice for the death, destruction, and massive art theft perpetrated by the Nazis.

Woman in Gold
Woman in Gold
Woman in Gold
Woman in Gold
Woman in Gold
Woman in Gold
Woman in Gold
Woman in Gold
Woman in Gold
Woman in Gold
Original titleWoman in Gold
IMDb Rating7.3 39,791 votes
TMDb Rating7.3 380 votes

(160) comments

  • rapan-2March 27, 2015Reply

    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.

  • www.ramascreen.comMarch 29, 2015Reply

    Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds on an art crusade.

    A WWII true story drama that deserves to be told on the screen. Helen
    Mirren gives yet another astounding performance and I was pleasantly
    surprised by Ryan Reynolds. What would attract audiences to WOMAN IN
    GOLD is its David Vs. Goliath story, everybody loves a story about an
    underdog taking on the impossible and that’s what WOMAN IN GOLD
    essentially is.

    Directed by Simon Curtis who gave us ”My Week With Marilyn” four years
    ago, Helen Mirren plays an elderly Jewish woman named Maria Altmann who
    sixty years after she fled Vienna, Austria to escape the Nazis, starts
    her uphill legal battles to retrieve a valuable painting that was
    seized by the Nazis, a painting that is now in the possession of a
    museum in Austria. A young lawyer, Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds)
    helps Maria in her quest that receives resistance from the Austrian
    establishment. All the while her quest forces Maria to finally confront
    her past WWII provides a ton of stories for cinemas to depict, they
    will never run out of WWII materials, this one tackles the fact that
    thousands of artwork and paintings, that were stolen by Nazis, to this
    day, have never been restored to their rightful owners. Maria’s story
    is just one of the thousands, and I think it’s fascinating that WOMAN
    IN GOLD basically says that yes, sometimes we need to leave the past
    where it belongs, the past, but when the past committed a great deal of
    injustice on us, one can’t just easily dismiss it and simply use ‘the
    past’ as an excuse to not pursue justice. It’s obvious too from Helen
    Mirren’s performance, Helen understands that Maria carries a certain
    guilt all these years, guilt that she blames herself for abandoning her
    family and abandoning their possessions. Mirren is excellent at
    presenting us this tortured conflicted soul, caught between being
    haunted by the past and the desperate need to forget and move on. And
    Ryan Reynolds holds his ground as the young persistent lawyer. I think
    people don’t give Ryan enough credit because he’s a heartthrob, but the
    man can pass as a struggling family man with strong conviction. I think
    WOMAN IN GOLD is an important film, unfortunately I doubt that it would
    be remembered during award season mainly because we’re still fresh from
    another Weinstein Company’s drama, ”Philomena” a couple of years ago
    which also showed an elderly woman accompanied by a young lad, both on
    a crusade for the truth.

    Read more at Ramascreen.Com

  • blake-blamarMarch 30, 2015Reply

    Excellent and intelligent film

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • David Ferguson ([email protected])March 31, 2015Reply

    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.

  • Nathaniel JonesApril 3, 2015Reply

    Woman In Gold Review

    Woman In Gold stars Ryan Reynolds and Helen Mirren. This is a story
    about a piece of art that was taken away from a Jewish family in the
    mist of World War II and it is essentially a long drawn out fight to
    get it back. The character of Maria played by Helen Mirren tries to get
    her things that were stolen from her by the Nazi’s some sixty years
    earlier. By the way this is a true story. Helen Mirren’s performance is
    kind of lifeless. Pretty Dry for the majority of this movie. She has a
    few moments but not enough to have a great performance. She has dried
    eyes for the majority of the movie. It was like Helen Mirren was not
    enjoying the role she was doing and it showed. Ryan Reynolds is just
    Ryan Reynolds once again I did not see a character I saw Ryan Reynolds
    but he has glasses on. This story was turned from an intriguing
    historical drama to a standard movie with good guys and bad guys. After
    Maria’s unsuccessful attempt to get the piece of art back she hires a
    lawyer played by Ryan Reynolds. The pursuit of the painting is the bulk
    of this movie and probably the most boring with really no drama and
    with cliché dialogue and nothing compelling to work with. The most
    drama in this movie was with Maria’s flashbacks as a young girl of when
    the Nazi’s came into her country and when she had to flee. It was nice
    to see the back story so Maria could have some sort of character arc
    but it just didn’t matter because I wasn’t really into what the rest of
    the movie was trying to do. Overall, this is a pretty weak movie with
    the only redeeming qualities being flashbacks. With the dry performance
    of Helen Mirren, and the big miscasting of Ryan Reynolds there was no
    one to really cheer for. With a main plot that isn’t that intriguing I
    recommend waiting for this one to hit DVD or cable TV

  • george.schmidt ([email protected])April 4, 2015Reply

    Mirren continues her winning streak of excellent performances

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Samuela55April 5, 2015Reply

    This is a top-quality movie

    This is a top-quality movie with great acting by Ryan Reynolds, Helen
    Mirren, and everyone else. I highly recommend it. Ryan Reynolds did
    some exceptionally good acting regarding Attorney Schoenberg’s visit to
    the Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial in Vienna. The legal aspects of
    restitution will be especially interesting to attorneys and other legal
    professional staff. Also included in this movie is the issue of how
    relatives/descendants of Nazis cope with what happened. This is
    something I know about firsthand because my German husband Winfried
    struggled with what his relatives and other German people had done. He,
    of course, was totally innocent and I never blamed him for what
    happened.

  • filmcritic3April 5, 2015Reply

    Crucial film, so history does not repeat.

    WOMAN IN GOLD Ultimately, WOMAN IN GOLD is a film about the struggle of
    the little man against an overwhelming, ruling power. It is the
    antithesis of the adage ”you can’t fight city hall”. These stories
    always play well with viewers, and WOMAN IN GOLD should not prove the
    exception to the rule. It is, after all, a story which needs to remain
    in our psyche, especially in times like these when an incompetent
    president and his administration and lackeys seem intent on history
    repeating.

    THE WOMAN IN GOLD is the story of Maria Altmann, played by Helen
    Mirren. She was a member of a prestigious family in Austria, before the
    invasion of the Nazis. Her home and family were destroyed and valuable
    art treasures stolen from their home. Now, as Austria recognizes its
    compliance in history with the Nazi movement, the government opts to
    hear cases for restitution for those WWII victims. Altmann wants her
    family’s paintings returned, especially one of her aunt, with whom she
    shared a special friendship. Like most governments, however, Austria is
    not willing to release the paintings, claiming they are now the
    country’s property and part of its historic culture. Faced with the
    prospect of challenging an entire government, coupled with museum
    curators and corrupt politicians, Altmann enlists the aide of her
    friend’s son, Randol Schoenberg, played by Ryan Reynolds.

    It’s quite easy to mock and jeer at Reynolds. Movie-goers hold him
    responsible for THE GREEN LANTERN, a better than average superhero film
    that somehow captured the ridicule of comic geeks. The same group is
    already condemning his turn as Deadpool in an upcoming X-Men adventure.
    Reynolds is suffering the same fate Matthew McConaughey and Ben Affleck
    suffered years back. Now, both are holding Oscars and McConaughey is
    driving a Lincoln and being parodied by Jim Carrey.

    Reynolds is fine in this film. He plays well off of Mirren. The story
    is, in essence, a tale of his coming of age in relation to his
    heritage. Like many Millennials, Schoenberg thinks the world began with
    his birthday. It takes a trip to Austria for him to discover the
    importance and significance of his birthright.

    WOMAN IN GOLD drags at times, making it seem longer than its actual
    length. Some scenes are repetitious. Surprisingly, others are stilted.
    This occurs due to remedial dialogue, penned by Alexi Kaye Campbell.
    Luckily, Reynolds and Mirren are quality actors and able to salvage the
    scenes.

    The past six years produced a paradigm shift in culturally accepted
    indignation. As the Obama Regime consistently turns its back on Israel
    and promotes anti-Semitism, Holocaust themed tomes are deemed trivial;
    an obsession by those forever living in the past. Meanwhile, films on
    slavery and black oppression are elevated to royal status, with private
    screenings in the White House mandated. America’s first black
    president, second if you believe Bill Clinton, made race relations
    prominent and the Holocaust insignificant. Look at the films released
    in the last six years as evidence.

    Still, at a time when several Middle East countries and militias are
    stating their mission to eradicate Israel from the globe and further
    seek the destruction of America, for it is in their eyes, the Great
    Satan, the lessons of the Holocaust must not be forgotten. Films like
    WOMAN IN GOLD should help keep the memories alive. History is repeating
    itself. Muslim leaders are spewing the same rhetoric as Hitler once
    did, and our current leadership is all too willing to support them. It
    is akin to Roosevelt and Churchill siding with the Nazis.

    WOMAN IN GOLD could have more of an impact, with better seamless
    transitions between segments and stronger scripting; however, the film
    is salvaged by the power of its stars and their ability to elevate
    mediocre material. The film is crucial to see for a reminder of what
    happened in the past and the ability to have the jurisprudence not to
    let it happen again today.

  • Ian JohnsonApril 6, 2015Reply

    This film was compelling and had emotional weight.

    The Woman in Gold is based on the true story about a woman, Maria
    Altmann (Helen Mirren), and her lawyer, Randol Schoenberg (Ryan
    Reynolds), as they attempt to reclaim ownership of an extremely
    valuable painting (along with a few more) form the Austrian government
    nearly fifty years after it was stolen by the Nazis. This film has
    three distinct parts that intertwine through the duration of the show.
    First, there is a family dynamic that focuses on the emotional stress
    of the current situation on everyone’s personal lives. There is a
    strong connection between Randol and Maria that grows over time and is
    given time to grow in these segments. Second, there are flashbacks that
    dive deeper into Maria’s past and emphasize the importance of the
    artwork as well as explore parallels between the past and the present.
    Finally there is the trial itself, which is where the action of the
    conflict lies. This is the least important, yet still necessary part of
    the story. The percentage of time given to these segments would be
    around 40/40/20, respectively. While you might be surprised how much of
    the story takes place in the past, it really does drive the plot. There
    are many white-knuckle scenes and heart wrenching moments that really
    add to the film. The past is just as important as the present in this
    movie, and that is exactly what the film is trying to say. Helen
    Mirren, as always, was amazing in this film. She was subtle and drove
    many of the scenes that required raw emotion. Ryan Reynolds was also
    very good and his role in this film might have been his best
    performance (from what I have seen). Actually, all of the actors did a
    fantastic job here. Everyone was on there A-Game and gave it everything
    they had. There was great chemistry between Mirren and Reynolds which
    made their characters’ connection even more compelling. Reynolds was
    able to subtly change his character as the case slowly changed his
    motivations. While, yes, there are a few clichéd scenes that were put
    in there for emotional levity and drama, but they don’t really take
    much away, if anything. This was an excellent film and I highly
    recommend it.

  • aharmasApril 6, 2015Reply

    Seeking Restitution

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • JackCerfApril 6, 2015Reply

    Interesting But Could Have Been Better

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Steve PulaskiApril 6, 2015Reply

    When personality is squandered for linear storytelling

    ”Woman in Gold” tells an extraordinary story with the utmost
    ordinariness in style and structure. It uses what I fear will become
    the newfound ”Philomena” cliché of a stubborn, moody old white lady
    getting helped by a square, middle-aged white man who grows to
    appreciate a walk of life he apparently never even knew existed before.
    The only difference was ”Philomena” worked because of strong chemistry
    between its leads and a story that was told in an impacting manner,
    articulating the core of the events within proper emotional and
    narrative boundaries. ”Woman in Gold” is what happens when all of that
    is traded for what looks to be a ”collect the check” job on all fronts,
    where everyone involved just seems more concerned with collecting their
    pay rather than telling a story with the significance and heart it not
    only bears but deserves.

    The film revolves around Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), a Jewish refugee
    living in Los Angeles, who seeks the help of a lawyer named Randol
    Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds) to recover Gustav Klimt’s iconic painting of
    her aunt, known as Portrait of Adele Block-Bauer I. During the time of
    World War II, the painting was confiscated by the Nazis and now hangs
    in a museum in Vienna, Austria, where it is as renowned as the Mona
    Lisa. Maria and Randol travel to Vienna to try and convince the
    Austrian government to allow Maria to claim the painting, but the
    government has made it virtually impossible for anyone who isn’t
    wealthy beyond their wildest imagination to sue or challenge the
    government. Eventually, the two return to America, following a
    breathless bout of walking in circles, to discover that they can sue
    the Austrian government on American soil due to the painting being
    licensed for commercial use in America. What entails is an exhausting
    legal battle that is taken all the way to the Supreme Court.

    ”Woman in Gold”’s first immediate problem is it can’t do anything
    without oversimplifying. Within the first fifteen minutes of the film,
    Maria meets Randol, she tell him the story of her aunt and Klimt’s
    painting, and they are off to Vienna in a flash. The legal battle that
    apparently takes so many months to progress and move to the Supreme
    Court is covered within about five minutes in montage and, when we do
    see glimpses inside the courtroom, it’s the same kind of artificial,
    theatrical environment we’ve grown accustomed to in American movies.
    Finally, every wall the characters run into in their quest to obtain
    what is rightfully theirs always seems to pose a way out that’s almost
    too clean to exist. Every way around the Austrian government is
    portrayed as a flash-in-the-pan, revolutionary moment that makes you
    wonder why these two bright individuals didn’t think of that before
    they started (IE: the cost of suing the Austrian government being in
    the millions – shouldn’t they have known that as a ”worst case
    scenario” event?).

    It’s also worth noting that it’s impossible for a dynamic to be
    achieved between both Mirren and Reynolds because screenwriter Alexi
    Kaye Campbell doesn’t write a line of dialog that’s purpose is to paint
    both of these individuals as characters and not narrative vessels.
    Every conversation these two have between one another is about the case
    or about the history; none of dialog works to humanize either party and
    it isn’t until the end we realize that due to how little we’re impacted
    by the outcome of it all. This gives ”Woman in Gold” a dreary and dull
    personality, and makes it even more disappointing to see two great
    actors squandered for the sake of persistent plot progression.

    ”Woman in Gold” is one of several films to be released over the last
    two years that concerns art, the creation of art, and to whom the art
    should belong to. Last year, George Clooney’s ”The Monuments Men” was a
    misguided effort, but found success in at least detailing the process
    of obtaining valuable works that the Nazis had stolen, a subject that’s
    only now really circulating into the mainstream. In addition, we also
    had Tim Burton’s ”Big Eyes,” which, while a bit different, found itself
    infusing style and visual flair into a story that probably wouldn’t
    have clicked had no personality been injected into the screenplay and
    the visual aesthetic. ”Woman in Gold” is another film that takes a
    hugely important topic and squanders it, and, now more than ever, we
    need not only another film on Nazi art thieves, but a good one at long
    last.

  • Victoria WeisfeldApril 7, 2015Reply

    Uphill Crusade to Reclaim a Family Portrait–Beauty & Truth

    In Woman in Gold, Helen Mirren, chameleon-like, inhabits the body and
    personality of Maria Altmann, niece and heir of a prominent Jewish
    family in pre-WWII Vienna. The family’s best-known member today is
    Maria’s aunt Adele, whose portrait Gustav Klimt painted in 1907. The
    painting was appropriated during the Nazi era and for many years hung
    in the Austrian state’s famous Belvedere Gallery, as ”the Mona Lisa of
    Vienna.” After her sister’s death, Maria finds correspondence
    suggesting the painting was perhaps not left to the government of
    Austria in her aunt’s will, as it claimed, and therefore not rightfully
    Austrian property. She hires a family friend’s son, Randol Schoenberg
    (played by Ryan Reynolds), a young down-on-his-luck Los Angeles
    attorney, to look into the matter. Schoenberg, grandson of the
    composer—another refugee from Nazified Austria—is out of touch with his
    family’s past and slow to recognize the significance of Maria’s quest.
    Initially unwilling to take on the case, he is gradually drawn into it.
    Their bureaucratic battles with stonewalling Austrian officials soon
    unite the pair, and they are joined by a crusading Austrian journalist,
    Hubertus Czernin. Formidable legal and bureaucratic hurdles stand in
    the way of Maria being reuniting with the painting—”When you look at
    this painting, you see a work of art,” Marie tells a reunification
    commission, ”I see my aunt.” The story is another in a long line of
    mostly not happy stories of stolen art works in World War II, brought
    to renewed public awareness by movies and books like The Monuments Men
    and Pictures at an Exhibition. The opportunity to reunite beloved works
    of art and their owners is rapidly disappearing, yet this beautifully
    filmed movie, directed by Simon Curtis, shows the importance of
    continuing these efforts. Because this film is based on a true story,
    and I for one remembered how it ends, a certain inevitability about the
    outcome guides the plot. Perhaps this is what has caused reviewers (not
    me!) to find it dull, though they find the actors captivating. As a
    result of the strong positive audience reception, the film’s
    distributor will greatly expand its national distribution. If you like
    stories that touch on beauty, truth, and justice, you will like it,
    too!

  • jakob13April 7, 2015Reply

    Mawkish but barely saved by Mirren’s stiff upper lip

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • QanqorApril 7, 2015Reply

    Well, *I* liked it!

    I just got home from seeing this film, and I very much enjoyed it. I’ve
    been reading some of the negative reviews and trying to understand what
    they’re on about, but I just don’t get it. I think it was a great film
    and I’m glad I saw it. OK, maybe following all the legal machinations
    gets a little dry at points, but I’m happy with this. It means that the
    film makers *respect* the story. This isn’t one of those atrocities
    that claims to be based on history, but in fact plays so fast-and-loose
    with the facts that what you are getting is almost entirely fiction
    (yes, ”The Imitation Game”, I’m looking at *you*). While I don’t know
    the details of the actual history in this case, from what I’m able to
    make out it seems like this film stays pretty true to the facts. I, for
    one, am glad they resisted the trend of schmaltzing the thing up.

  • britts-707-666081April 8, 2015Reply

    Octogenarian seeks a golden painting of her aunt…

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Quietb-1April 9, 2015Reply

    They stole art too.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • pamma09April 10, 2015Reply

    A story that needed to be tole

    I have been looking forward to this movie because of the story and the
    art. I have always liked the Woman in Gold – I have done needlework
    that also represents his style. This movie is quietly told – no
    yelling, no fights, just legal arguments about why the artwork belonged
    to Maria Altman. I liked the way the flashbacks were presented
    throughout the whole movie – I felt her pain in those memories. I have
    read negative reviews of Ryan Reynolds performance and disagree with
    them. He portrays a lawyer with no practice who learns more about
    himself as this case goes on and on, and it leads him to the supreme
    court and back to Vienna. I appreciated the quietness of this film – I
    think it is a movie that should be shown to teenagers, and watched by
    those of us who know the backdrop of this story. It is a fact of
    history but the story of what happened to families is so important to
    not be forgotten. Well done.

  • bobbobwhiteApril 11, 2015Reply

    Mirren is headed the way of Maggie Smith

    This Mirren vehicle was a crowd pleasing time-passer not overly
    concerned with historical accuracy when compared to lavish ”production
    values” that always make the filmmaker and studio much more money, as
    they know viewers will always choose entertainment value over factual
    history(so booooring!). Everyone know what ”dumbed down” means? Also,
    Mirren is getting typecast in her recent ”queenly” roles just as Maggie
    Smith has been firmly typecast in her old lady, snipey zinger
    slinger-roles of late in Downton and Marigold Hotel. A profitable trend
    for both of them no doubt, but it only adds to their bank accounts, not
    to their list of great roles.

    Lovely and stately Vienna, one of the world’s greatest cities, was at
    its stunning best here, along with its many dramatically regal rooms
    that were used for virtually every scene filmed there. The story is of
    of a Mrs. Altmann, now a clothes retailer resident of L.A., but late of
    a wealthy Viennese, Jewish family, many of whom where killed later in
    WWII concentration camps, and how she escaped Nazi rule as her family’s
    treasured art did not. All were stolen by the Nazis and reside in a
    Vienna museum that will not let them be reclaimed by the original
    owners.

    Getting that art returned to her was her life’s passion and she almost
    never gave up that pursuit, and did need tremendous support along the
    way from her attorney to achieve it. The Altmann family’s famous, Woman
    in Gold painting was the center of this eponymous story’s attention due
    to its great artistic merit and vast monetary value. (Why and how there
    should EVER be any question at all about the righteous retrieval of
    those stolen paintings back to their legal owners is well beyond my
    understanding and conscience).

    The often humorous but sometimes harsh interplay between Mrs. Altmann
    and her young attorney, who zealously worked his backside off to get
    for her the fair and legal return of her treasures against the absolute
    denial of that wish by the museum’s Nazi-like officer, was the story’s
    main ”grab”.

    The story was not always right on point but it always interesting, most
    always engaging, with the end result mostly justifying our time in
    watching it. Now, go read the actual history online to know the entire
    story, and even though it has more or less the same ending as the movie
    does, it is well worth anyone’s time who is as interested in the
    factual events of important global history as in what movies do with it
    to entertain us. Monument’s Men is another one even more
    interesting…the real story, not so much the movie.

  • richard-1787 ([email protected])April 11, 2015Reply

    An interesting movie that deviates a fair amount from the historical facts

    This movie recounts the efforts of the niece of the woman portrayed in
    painter Gustave Klimt’s famous ”The Woman in Gold” to have it restored
    to her in the 1990s, after it had been looted by the Nazis during World
    War II and then hung for decades in the great Belvedere Art Museum in
    Vienna. I recall when Ms. Altmann undertook her quest through the
    courts but, fortunately, I did not remember how it went or the outcome,
    so all that could be a surprise for me.

    I have since read the book that serves as a point of departure for this
    feature film, Anne-Marie O’Connor’s *The Lady in Gold: The
    Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt’s Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele
    Bloch-Bauer*. I now know that this movie often departs from the facts,
    especially in recounting the efforts of Altmann and her lawyer,
    Schoenberg, to get the painting. That doesn’t influence my view of the
    movie, but movie-goers should know that it is not a documentary.

    For me, one of the two outstanding aspects of this movie is Mirrin’s
    portrayal of Maria Altmann. When the script gives her even half a
    chance, she develops an interesting and complex character. After seeing
    her last year as the owner of a rural French restaurant in *The Hundred
    Foot Journey*, it was fascinating to see her as an Austrian refugee. I
    knew such people when I was growing up in Milwaukee in the 1950s and
    60s, and I found her portrayal very convincing.

    The other aspect that was sometimes but not always good was the script.
    Yes, there were times when it gave in to sentiment or just dawdled. But
    sometimes it made a real and successful effort to present its two main
    characters as more than just two-dimensional figures. For what it’s
    worth, it makes both of them, and especially the lawyer, far more
    sympathetic than they appear to have been in real life.

    There were things it could have developed more that would have made
    this a richer experience to watch:

    1) Near the end, Maria recalls her father saying to her that when their
    family came to Vienna, they made an effort to fit in and contribute to
    the city. It would have been nice if that had been developed more. We
    see presumably non-Jewish Viennese watching with pleasure the Nazis’
    humiliation of Jews, but we get no sense of whether this came as a
    surprise to Maria’s family, whether they felt totally integrated, etc.

    2) Whether or not the real Austrian officials were officious and cold,
    it would have been more interesting if their representatives in the
    movie had been less stereotypical and given more chance to express the
    complexity of the issues they were defending. O’Connor’s book does
    that.

    3) It might also have been interesting to have some insight into the
    Jewish Austrain refugee community in Los Angeles, of which Schönberg
    (the composer grandfather of the lawyer) was so important a part. The
    lawyer is given no chance to speak about what it must have been like to
    grow up in that community, what was talked about, etc. When he and
    Maria visit the Holocaust Memorial in Vienna and he is so moved that he
    has to excuse himself to hide his emotions, that would have been a
    moment to let us know WHY he was so moved, what memories from his
    childhood the Memorial reawakened.

    4) Near the end, when Maria recalls her aunt talking to her about the
    Klimt painting, Adele says she hopes that Maria, when she grows up,
    won’t have to devote her life to superficial things. Given the surface
    glimmer of the painting in question, which seems to suggest something
    of the sort itself, the movie could have done a lot more with the
    implications of the painting as a depiction of a certain type of
    beautiful but ultimately superficial life. Was there a conflict between
    Maria’s father’s love of playing the cello, with its deep, rich sounds,
    and Klimt’s use of gold leaf to portray Adele and her sad eyes? What
    was the culture like that Maria wanted the world to remember? If she is
    going to use the painting to make us remember it, what is the painting
    saying about that culture? That one line near the end of the movie
    should either have been cut or developed throughout the movie.

    When I got home and thought about this, I remembered that Adele died in
    1923. At that point Maria, born in 1916, was only 7. The Bloch-Bauers
    would have been driven from their Vienna home in 1938, when the Nazis
    took over Austria. All of which to say that, by 1938 Maria would have
    lived with her Aunt Adele only 7 years, but the painting 22 years. Much
    more could have been made of the relationship with her Aunt – there is
    really only that one scene at the end – and the role the painting
    played for Maria as a memento of her aunt and that relationship during
    the 15 years after Adele’s death that Maria lived with the painting.
    Also how that very distinctive painting shaped Maria’s memories of
    Adele.

    It’s true: as I develop this review, I am coming to realize that while
    the script has some good scenes in it, it really could have been a lot
    better developed.

    Still and all, the movie held me, and sometimes moved me very much.
    Very frankly, I found it did a better job than *Monuments Men*, which
    deals with a similar topic – Nazi pillaging of art during World War II
    – but in a more diffuse way that focuses on the American efforts to
    rescue the art rather than the meaning the art had to some of its
    owners. In that sense, this is closer to *The Train*, which remains, to
    my mind, the best movie treatment of the topic.

  • ann-928-379274April 11, 2015Reply

    Dreadfully Boring

    I had fairly high hopes about this based on a review I read prior.
    Wrong. Casting Ryan Reynolds was a huge mistake, and the same for the
    character playing his wife. Many scenes were overplayed…I kept
    thinking, ”Ok, I get it; let’s move on.” About half the movie contains
    flashbacks, which is a method that’s way too far overused now, and it’s
    completely overused here. I think Ryan Reynolds was trying to play a
    more ”serious” role, but he just doesn’t have the kind of charisma that
    is needed here. The story line is okay, but a lot of the lines come off
    trite and even a bit silly. This is a movie I would only rent. Please
    don’t pay $10 or whatever to go see it.

  • CleveMan66April 11, 2015Reply

    ”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 Brühl), 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+”

  • PipAndSqueakApril 11, 2015Reply

    Gold plated

    This is an incredibly moving tale well told in ‘real-time’ like
    documentary style stitched together with vignettes of the past
    remembered in full German language (subtitled) Technicolour. Overall
    there is a genuine feel for the truth of this story – as it is a real
    story. Even though some of the processes gone through to reach the
    final conclusion are simplified for film they nevertheless convey the
    size of the difficulties faced by Mrs Altmann and the prejudice and
    contempt she faced up to. The film also manages to convey a true
    feeling of survivor remorse as Mrs Altmann revisits her memories of the
    past. Mirren excels at this character acting and succeeds in embodying
    Mrs Altmann even though at first we recall her as Queen Elizabeth II.
    Definitely recommend to anyone with a good sense of history.

  • annfromflagApril 12, 2015Reply

    Justice is Done

    Before seeing Woman in Gold, I read three to four reviews, ranging from
    ”ordinary” to ”extraordinary movie.” I was more than curious, since I
    am an historian and secondary ed teacher, always looking for excellent
    historical films that remind us ”why” we study history. This film
    presents a WWII story with superb storytelling. Woman in Gold is about
    a survivor of World War II, named Maria Altmann, a Viennese who wants a
    famous family painting by Gustav Klimt returned to her possession since
    it was stolen by the Nazis. She enlists the help of a family friend,
    who also has a WWII connection, although he is quite inexperienced for
    the challenge of taking on the Austrian government. The painting of her
    aunt is famous for its size, the gold leaf, and its early twentieth
    century modernity. Even if you are ignorant about art history, this
    ”Mona Lisa” of Austria, the Woman in Gold, is recognizable to almost
    everyone else. Maria Altmann’s connection to this stellar painting by
    Gustav Klimt is that it reminds her not only of her aunt, but the
    family, friends, and life style that she lost forever when she fled
    Vienna with little more than the clothes on her back. The fight she and
    Randy Schoenberg, yes – grandson of Arnold Schoenberg – are about to
    wage is insurmountable if you have studied recent Austrian attempts to
    conceal its Nazi past. Think Kurt Waldheim. Woman in Gold is told in
    two stories, one about the pursuit of justice, and the other flashbacks
    before and after the Nazis occupied Vienna, showing Maria’s lost life.
    Edited together, you get enough background into the Holocaust to
    understand Maria Altmann’s motivation to seek long-awaited justice not
    just for herself, but all the other people who lost everything with
    little to no hope of restitution. The director, screenwriter, set
    designer, and all the actors did a fabulous job of finding a balance
    between humor and poignancy. Woman in Gold complements those other
    wonderful WWII movies, like Downfall, Lucie Aubrac, The Pianist, by
    showing that WWII history is not dead, that new chapters are being
    written in the 21st century.

  • Edgar Allan PoohApril 12, 2015Reply

    ”What do you do with a problem like Maria?”

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • manx98April 13, 2015Reply

    Wonderful True Story about Nazis in Austria

    It is so rare these days to see a motion picture that I would want to
    see again or even purchase. This true story flips from WW 2 to present
    today weaving an intriguing sequences of events about the treasures
    stolen from Jews and their efforts to get them back. Helen Mirren and
    Ryan Reynolds go to court after court to attempt the retrieval of
    ”Woman In Gold”, a beautiful portrait of the aunt of Helen Mirren. Ryan
    plays her lawyer. They are drawn together by a common bond being of
    Jewish heritage in Austria. Much beautiful artwork. Particularly the
    paintings of Klimt. A must see for history buffs and lovers of art.
    Hopefully some Oscar nominations will come forth in 2016. But sadly
    Hollywood tends to overlook such.

  • bcstoneb444April 13, 2015Reply

    Earnest, well-intended, and handsomely mounted, but –

    As some of the other lukewarm reviews have pointed out, WIG is
    generally well acted, strong on production values, and reasonably
    suspenseful and compelling considering that the ultimate resolution is
    never much in doubt. However, it’s also low-risk, predictable, slowish,
    and somewhat cliché ridden, in other words, for better or worse, a
    conventional Hollywood product. More important, we’re never sure where
    the filmmakers’ heart really is: with the family plight in the dark
    year of 1938, or the present, admittedly drier, legal struggle around
    art reclamation. I’m not familiar enough with the true life facts to
    comment on accuracy but I suspect some license was used.

    Either way it’s a beautifully filmed shell of a movie that, with the
    exception of some of the flashback scenes, somehow lacks much of an
    inner core, the final surrealistic memory montage in particular, which
    just didn’t work for me. Miss Mirren is given a bevy of zingy
    one-liners which she delivers with her usual aplomb, but otherwise she
    seems curiously detached, as do most of the principals. Actually I
    thought the much-maligned Ryan Reynolds as the lawyer was pretty
    effective as a mechanical, legalistic type without much personality.
    For me the most interesting characters, arguably the best performances,
    were the supporting players, especially the Austrian cultural
    bureaucrats and the various judges and adjudicators.

    Not so surprising then that the real star of the film – aside from the
    Woman in Gold of the portrait herself – is the city of Vienna, here
    lovingly presented front and center, resplendent in lots of Art Nouveau
    glory, all awash in, well, gold, also deep brown, dark brown, burnished
    brown, and off-brown. BTW was the ferris wheel the same one that
    appeared in The Third Man? But beneath all the surface polish something
    is missing, though it’s not easy to articulate exactly what that
    something is. Beautiful to look at, WIG is, despite the weighty issues
    considered, ultimately rather spongy and flat. My six stars are mostly
    for production and the Vienna scenes.

  • jdesandoApril 13, 2015Reply

    Part thriller and part travelogue–it’s worth the trip.

    ”Because people forget, you see. And then, of course, there’s justice.”
    Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren)

    Keeping true to the memory of Holocaust victims and seeking the
    rightful return of art stolen are the driving forces of the pleasant
    Woman in Gold. The titular Klimt painting, Portrait of Adele
    Bloch-Bauer I, formerly hanging in the Austrian State Gallery in
    Vienna, is the object of Maria Altmann’s (Mirren) legal case against
    Austria based on her family’s ownership and the Nazi’s theft. The film
    is part low-key thriller and part modest travelogue (Vienna is now
    firmly on my bucket list), a smarter version of the Best Exotic
    Marigold Hotel franchise, if you will.

    As in the recent biopic, Mr. Turner, about the great British landscape
    artist, this film also gets its energy from a painter’s world-class
    vibe. Whereas the Turner biopic, as interpreted brilliantly by Mike
    Leigh, gives insight into the painter, Woman in Gold is more interested
    in the legal work that leads to a visit to the Supreme Court and back
    to Austria.

    Director Simon Curtis relies frequently on emotional music and the cool
    Maria to give a sense of the grand painting frequently referred to as
    ”the Mona Lisa of Austria.” A few expressive lines such as the opener
    to this essay are far too few given that a world-class painting should
    inspire many impressions and impassioned descriptions and
    interpretations. Maria sees mainly her Aunt while the world can see an
    entire era and country in her Aunt’s necklace alone: ”People see a
    masterpiece by one of Austria’s finest artists,” Maria says of Adele
    Bloch-Bauer I, ”but I see my aunt.”

    Granted the true-life story as it tumbles from the painting is
    interesting enough, but the figurative possibilities are never
    explored. Yet the rewards are still there including Mirren’s classy,
    relatively restrained performance and Ryan Reynolds’ nerdy attorney,
    Randol Schoenberg (Grandson of Arnold). Together they present a
    formidable team opposing high-priced attorneys and an Austrian museum.
    Hooray for justice.

    ”I have to do what I can to keep these memories alive.” Maria

  • davidgeeApril 13, 2015Reply

    Art and artifice

    The title suggests this is going to be a ”Woman’s Picture” – and it is.
    But a high-quality woman’s picture. And an uplifting true-life story.

    Maria Altmann is feisty and tetchy and magnificently determined. Mirren
    plays her in a slight twist on her portrayal of Elizabeth II, with a
    piled-on Austrian accent (no jokes about the Queen’s Teutonic pedigree,
    if you please); I found myself wondering if Meryl Streep had been
    approached for the role, accents being very much her thing. Reynolds
    does a nice turn as the nerdy but equally resolute lawyer, the kind of
    role Gregory Peck made his name in.

    The movie has a sort of ‘sheen’ to it, which occasionally makes it seem
    a tad schmaltzy, and the flashbacks to the gilded glamour of pre-war
    Vienna are definitely over-polished. As in George Clooney’s THE
    MONUMENTS MEN, the theft of paintings is almost allowed to eclipse the
    true horrors of what the Nazis did to Europe’s Jews. The intransigence
    of today’s Austrian art custodians – and its legal system – provides a
    neatly different chill.

    The scenes I liked most were those (three of them) in which past and
    present are allowed to meld together. This device was briefly and
    subtly used in the Merchant-Ivory HEAT AND DUST (1983). It’s less
    subtly employed here, but it helps to make the film memorable. WOMAN IN
    GOLD is a beguiling work of art and artifice, handsomely framed.

  • subxerogravityApril 13, 2015Reply

    Compelling story about an under dog taking on the big guys.

    I actually herd bad things about this movie going in. Most likely
    people who don’t like Ryan Reynolds, which I don’t fully understand,
    not every movie he’s been in is bad, definitely not this one.

    Plus, Helen Mirren is in the flick, and nobody could possibly hate the
    finely age body of wine that is Helen Mirren who was charming a
    whimsical, as Maria Altmann who reminds me of my grand mother.

    Just in case you are not a fan of Katie Holmes, this should not keep
    you away from such a lovely movie as well, unfortunately her role as
    the wife of Randol Schoenberg supports the character but not so much
    the movie.

    But I do wish that Daniel Brühl had a bigger part in the film, as he’s
    become a gem I feel like I just discovered.

    My favorite part of the film was the flash backs that inter cut with
    the main story, and told the story of Maria Altmann life, from the time
    her aunt was a model for the famous Gustav Klimt portrait to the time
    were she was force to flee Austria.

    The main Story was about a woman attempting to get back a painting of
    her aunt that was taken by the Nazis 68 years ago from the Austrian
    government that holds the painting in high regards and refuses to part
    with it.

    The story goes by fast because a lot is being covered in a court case
    that seems to last a few years. This could have effected the
    performance of a lesser actor, but not Helen Mirren who lights of the
    screen with personality

    I loved it, it was a good watch.

  • chaitovApril 13, 2015Reply

    Could Have Been a Great Movie

    I didn’t know what to expect when going to see ”Woman In Gold”
    yesterday.But I totally agree with many of the reviewers who felt the
    movie lacked emotion. I just couldn’t connect with the characters even
    though Helen Mirren’s portrayal of Maria Altmann was perfect down to
    her crisp Austrian accent.Opposite her was Ryan Reynolds as Maria’s
    lawyer.He played it as the straight,young lawyer who also had family
    killed in the Holocaust. Even though I can’t put my finger on the why
    of his lacklustre portrayal he seemed to try too hard in this role. He
    didn’t seem natural at all. I much preferred the Austrian investigative
    reporter.He seemed much more genuine. This story is true and I felt
    that with the right screenwriter and some casting changes it would have
    been a movie as wonderful as ”Philomena” which is also based on a true
    story but much more believably done.I loved The story of Philomena and
    it touched me emotionally while ”Woman in Gold” has left me cold and
    detached.Watch this film on DVD rather than spend your money at the
    theatre.

  • jinty-reidApril 14, 2015Reply

    A to be remembered movie

    I have just returned from watching the movie ”Woman in Gold” with my
    friend and both of us really enjoyed this excellent movie which I can
    highly recommend as well worth watching. All the actors played their
    parts well. Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann, an Austrian Jewish survivor
    who tries to recover her family’s art works,and Ryan Reynolds who plays
    Randal Schoenberg, her lawyer, were the main actors and did a fine job
    with many moving moments. I won’t go into the story much as the other
    reviews have all gone over it many times. However, I liked the fact
    that the story is based on the true life experience of an Austrian
    woman fighting for justice, restitution,and struggling to find peace
    from the torment of her past. The movie shows how at times she tries to
    escape the fight as she is tired and getting older but is spurred on by
    her able and motivated lawyer. She and her young lawyer struggle
    against all odds and though at first Randal is not emotionally involved
    he soon becomes so while visiting Austria and seeing the reality of his
    own ancestors. Tatiana Maslany who plays the young Maria portrays well
    Maria’s heart wrenching escape from the Nazis in Austria and the
    separation from her beloved family. The flashbacks are done well and
    give further substance to the movie. There were some moments of humour
    to lift the mood of the spectator. After the movie was finished we sat
    in silence for a while and my friend shed a few tears. It left us
    thoughtful and moved.

  • Danny GApril 15, 2015Reply

    There Are All Kinds of People in the World and Some of Them Are Beautiful!

    While this is a deeply moving story, this is the first film about the
    Holocaust I’ve ever heard of that is not intensely violent or
    overwhelmingly gut-wrenching. You could take the whole family to see
    Woman in Gold without being concerned in the slightest about
    traumatizing even a child. The story is told in such a straightforward
    way you get to feel like you are a friend of the Altman and Bloch-Bauer
    family! It’s that intimate! Wow! That’s what I call good filmmaking!

    The next time you visit New York City I highly recommend visiting The
    Neue Gallery located on Museum Mile. Seeing the Portrait of Adele
    Bloch-Bauer I by Gustav Klimt in real life is quite an experience!
    There’s good reason why the painting is called the ”Mona Lisa of
    Austria.” This is also a story about being a good lawyer.

    If you want to be a lawyer someday, this story will give you an idea
    what a determined and intelligent lawyer can accomplish!

  • trevorwombleApril 15, 2015Reply

    Why all the criticism?

    I fail to understand the criticism levelled at this worthy legal drama,
    particularly Peter Bradshaw’s scathing review for The Guardian
    newspaper.

    Helen Mirren again turns in another good performance although the real
    surprise is Ryan Reynolds turn as her naïve but well meaning lawyer, in
    over his head (just as Matt Damon was in 1997’s The Rainmaker) against
    the state of Austria.

    That this is based on a true story seems to have been overlooked by the
    critics. The concept that Mirren’s character was trying to retrieve a
    famous piece of art, a painting of her aunt, that was stolen by the
    Nazi’s and ended up in a Viennese museum resonates as just a small
    piece of the injustices dealt to the Jews. That the museum refuses to
    hand it over by trying every excuse possible resulting in a David vs
    Goliath showdown and the animosity that gets built up just adds to the
    flavour.

    Yes, maybe the story has been oversimplified for the purposes of the
    film, and that for the sake of the story 2 years is very conveniently
    squashed down into a few minutes, but this is still a decent legal
    drama with a human interest story (told partly in flashback). I
    certainly enjoyed the film and so did the audience.

    Perhaps the critics didn’t like it because it lacked any car chases, is
    fairly pedestrian in its pacing or that it demonises at least some of
    the Austrian people, for both being complicit in pre-war anti Semitism
    and the lack of acknowledgement to her plight. I cannot argue with
    these points but then again it isn’t trying to be Schindlers List
    either. It was probably no coincidence that the vast majority of the
    audience was an older audience but there should always be a place in
    cinema for human interest stories too. This is a film about one woman’s
    experience of what the Nazi’s did to her, her family, her friends and
    her attempts to at least try and redress some of the injustices dealt
    to her. Maybe it won’t win any Oscars but I would certainly recommend
    it for those who like old an fashioned drama based on a true story.

  • HellmantApril 16, 2015Reply

    Really slow going, at first, but quite captivating by it’s conclusion!

    ‘WOMAN IN GOLD’: Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

    British- American drama flick starring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds
    and directed by Simon Curtis (who also directed another historical
    drama flick: ‘MY WEEK WITH MARILYN’). It tells the true story of a
    Jewish refugee, in her 80s, who battled the Austrian government for
    nearly a decade; to regain control of famous artwork (especially a
    painting of her aunt, known as the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I),
    which was taken from her family by the Nazis before the war. Mirren
    plays the Jewish refugee and Reynolds plays the young American lawyer
    that helped her. The film costars Daniel Bruhl, Katie Holmes, Max
    Irons, Charles Dance, Jonathan Pryce and Elizabeth McGovern. It was
    written by Alexi Kaye Campbell and based on the life stories of Maria
    Altmann and E. Randol Schoenberg. I found the movie to be really slow
    going, at first, but quite captivating by it’s conclusion.

    Maria Altmann (Mirren) was a young Jewish woman (played by Tatiana
    Maslany, in her earlier years) who fled Austria, with her husband Fritz
    (Irons), as the Nazis were taking it over, right before World War II.
    Family art, including a painting of Maria’s aunt, were seized by the
    Nazis, shortly later, and after the war the Austrian government took
    possession of them. The artwork became very valuable and iconic over
    the years (especially the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I). Maria
    decided, while in her 80s, to fight to get them back; due to their
    sentimental value, and the fact that they rightfully belonged to her.
    She enlisted the help of a young, and very inexperienced, lawyer named
    Randol Schoenberg (Reynolds).

    The movie is powerfully acted (especially by it’s two leads) and
    decently directed; but the story could have played out in a much more
    emotionally charged and engaging way. As it is, it takes a long time to
    really catch the viewer’s interest. Once it gets to the meat of the
    story, though, it’s very involving stuff. By the end of the film, I was
    quite satisfied with it; but I can’t dismiss the first 30 to 45
    minutes, of rather dull material I had to sit through. It’s a decent
    film but it could have been even better.

    Watch our movie review show ‘MOVIE TALK’ at:
    http://youtu.be/rxD9sln4Qkg

  • rmart-46-626964 ([email protected])April 16, 2015Reply

    Perfection

    This movie is just flawless in any category; acting, cinematography,
    sound, locations, story flow. Helen Mirren is of course the star but
    everybody else involved were perfect also. Telling the young woman’s
    life story, their hair-raising escape from Nazi occupation, and at the
    same time describing the red tape involved in trying to get back stolen
    family property by the Nazi’s 50 years prior is just a stunning
    accomplishment. But, the icing on the cake, which they could have
    ignored, is how most of the population of Austria (and other European
    countries) colluded with the Nazi’s.

    This is such an incredible movie, it should be required screening in
    high schools, it should never be forgotten what happens when hate and
    prejudice team up with apathy. No graphic violence is required to get
    the message across – classy all the way.

  • Matt GreeneApril 17, 2015Reply

    More Colorless Than Outwardly Bad

    Woman in Gold is not a ”bad” film, but it’s much too safe to be
    remarkable or memorable. Depending on your mood and expectations, you
    could be either bored or charmed by its calm nature, and either option
    would be accurate. The quiet sentimentalism gently and even pleasantly
    washes over you. In the end, though, its complete lack of challenge or
    surprise to its audience is yawn-inducing. Emotionally tidy and
    cinematically underwhelming, WiG is sorely lacking impact and color.
    This genericism stems from the setup: an overly-curious whipper-
    snapper (Reynolds) helps a fiery older woman (Mirren) correct the past.
    It’s been done. However, with Mirren leading the show, grace and class
    always co-mingles with spirit and sharpness. Even Reynolds, whose
    forced facial expressions and line deliveries often negatively affect
    his performances, is refreshingly nondescript. Their characters,
    however, are complex-less, with arcs that feel more forced than fleshed
    out. More comic-relief and less overly serious pondering would help,
    but with the self-righteous score and incessant flashbacks, the core
    narrative is slowed to an expositional bore. The true story of these
    two misfits taking on the Austrian government is anything but lifeless.
    The incredible legal proceedings are interesting and fun, and it isn’t
    hard to get roused up by the inherent injustice of the atrocities of
    WWII. Unfortunately, this complex true-life story is told in a
    decidedly un-complex fashion. If you don’t see many movies, the
    overused tropes and storytelling tricks may work thanks to the good
    performances an amazing story. Otherwise, WiG will most likely just
    feel like a lifeless rehash, more bothered with bad Hollywood
    coincidences than reality.

  • Martin SheltonApril 17, 2015Reply

    An interesting and important film

    On the whole, I enjoyed this film. It engendered intense empathy in me
    as it stimulated my recalled these events from World WarII. Helen
    Mirren is exceptional as Helen Mirren plays Maria Altmann. Ryan
    Reynolds does a yeoman job as E. Randol Schoenberg—thought he’s bit
    stoic at times. The miss en scene is skillfully portrayed with
    excellent cinematography, background locations, costumes, props, etc.
    Directing, and editing are first-rate. And, as noted art direction is
    superb. I wonder how she gets from Cologne in Nazi Germany to the USA?
    What happened to her husband? Also, I have concerns that the
    Schoenbrunn Palace was shone several times as other buildings in
    Vienna.

  • blatham-467-63714April 18, 2015Reply

    Good story, bad script

    This movie could’ve been really very good if it were written by an
    adult. It’s the same two dimensional characterization used to portray
    those on board ”Titanic” – the movie, where a film maker thinks the
    story is strong enough to carry the whole project freeing them to write
    a melodrama.

    I am familiar with the work of Gustav Klimt, read the book ‘Woman in
    Gold’ and hoped, maybe too much, to see more of what I’d read than what
    has become a vehicle for the great Helen Mirren. I LOVE Helen Mirren. I
    know how hard she works to get inside a character but she didn’t get
    inside this one. Also, the story just doesn’t provide for a major
    character roll. There are just too many major characters in this oh so
    rife with Reich period in history. The result is too much fill – not
    good or believable dialog and a few good shots of Ryan Reynolds’ abs
    (not really, he never shows his abs – which was surprising). I think
    Ryan Reynolds did a surprisingly good job and while also lacking the
    lines and direction that Mirren suffered, placed first in
    believability.

  • Challenger2013April 19, 2015Reply

    Great Story, Conventionally Constructed

    While watching ”The Woman in Gold,” the new film from director Simon
    Curtis, I was constantly reminded of a few other films. Namely, ”The
    Monuments Men,” ”Titanic,” and ”Saving Mr. Banks.” This was mainly
    because of similar story lines. Whether it be restitution of art stolen
    by Nazis, flashbacks to the tragic love story of an old woman, or a
    woman brought to Los Angeles for unwanted reasons, I kept returning to
    other Hollywood films I had seen, and that was the main downfall with
    this film

    The film shifts between 1998 and the Holocaust-era as we follow Maria
    Altmann (Helen Mirren.) After her sister’s death, she realizes that a
    famous family artwork was taken by Nazis and put in a museum in her
    home country of Austria. She recruits and up-and-coming lawyer, Randy
    Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), who also has an Austrian lineage, to help
    her find a legal way to have the piece returned to her.

    To Randy, the case is about the money. The artwork is worth millions of
    dollars and he thinks of it as a way to bring him to the top of the
    legal world in L.A. But to Maria, it has nothing to do with the money.
    Her aunt is the woman portrayed in the painting, and she was very
    important to her. It is also a portal to Maria’s deceased family, as
    she and her husband were able to escape Nazi reign whereas other family
    members weren’t so lucky. There is a flashback to a scene between a
    young Maria and her aunt. They are looking at the painting and Maria
    asks why there is so much gold, to which the aunt says not to look at
    the gold, but at the face. This encapsulates what this film is about,
    and the roles of young Maria and her aunt can be directly related to
    older Maria and Randy. It’s not about the money or even what the money
    says; it’s about Maria getting justice for the crime committed against
    her family.

    The film does many things right. The plot itself is intriguing and
    demands the attention of the artist. The pairing of Mirren and Reynolds
    is priceless, and the two play their roles brilliantly. This may be the
    best we’ve seen from Reynolds, and Hellen Mirren is…well…Hellen
    Mirren. The script is fine, save for a few cliché ”inspirational
    speech” scenes and the nonlinear storytelling allows us to relate to
    Maria and sympathize for her.

    Despite all the rights, their are elements of the film that keep it
    from achieving ”great” status. The huge problem is that the film is so
    conventional; there are things in this film that you can see in nearly
    every Hollywood film, which may be part of the reason it reminded me of
    so many others. There are no risks taking in the editing, and it is
    shot so safely. As aforementioned, there are those dramatic, emotional,
    and ultimately unneeded speeches and scenes that make the film somewhat
    cliché. So many times it seems like the director is trying to clinch
    every little emotion out of us, and it can get exhausting at times. A
    number of these come from Randy’s wife, played Katie Holmes, who
    sometimes drove me crazy with the sentimentality. Another thing that
    drove me crazy involved an element of Maria. While she was very likable
    about 80 percent of the time, there were those scenes where she claims
    they should just give up. It happens a good four or five times, and it
    makes it hard to root for someone who seems so undetermined. I don’t
    know if this is what she was really like, but if it is, this is a place
    where Curtis could have taken a little liberty.

    Despite its struggles, ”The Woman in Gold” tackles its topic with a
    certain conviction. Here is a real-life man and woman who beat the
    odds, take on an entire government, and learn to work together as
    wonderful companions. The transformation of Reynolds’ character is
    unbelievable to watch and Maria’s story is one for the ages. The truth
    is that it is a very good film that could have been great had Simon
    Curtis chosen to take more risks and be a little more unconventional.

  • Miles-10April 19, 2015Reply

    Good story survives cinematization

    When dramatized, true stories are almost always over-dramatized. This
    movie is no exception, but that does make it entertaining. It also
    raises, though doesn’t fully settle, questions about restitution.
    (Almost leads one to think about it.) The best reason for seeing this
    movie is the excellent acting. Mirren is great, Reynolds is a positive
    surprise, and I was only surprised that I did not know ahead of time
    that Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany is in this. That, given her
    presence, she delivers a terrific performance should be no surprise to
    anyone familiar with her. If there is no Academy Award for Best
    Supporting Actress for her, there is no fairness in the Academy.

  • cultfilmfanApril 20, 2015Reply

    Woman in Gold

    While watching the new film, Woman in Gold, based upon the true life
    stories of Maria Altmann and Randol Schoenberg, I couldn’t help, but
    think of caparisons and links between this film and last year’s The
    Monuments Men. Both films deal with World War II and recovering art
    that was stolen by the Nazis during that time. While, The Monuments Men
    was a bit more of a period piece in some ways, Woman in Gold, flashes
    back between the past and present, but mostly deals with the present
    time. I personally enjoyed George Clooney’s The Monuments Men, even
    though the film was anything but embraced by critics, who more, or less
    called the film a mess. While not my favourite film of last year, or
    even of George Clooney, I still found a lot to admire and appreciate
    about that film. Woman in Gold, as I mentioned above, does deal with a
    very similar subject, only I feel it is more of a personal account of
    one woman and her lawyer’s experience with this than the men who went
    to recover the art in The Monuments Men. I feel that because, Woman in
    Gold, is dealing with real people and how they have been affected by
    the Nazi tragedies of the second World War and how they are now trying
    in a small way to get a piece of their heritage back, and we see the
    different emotions as well as the anger and resentment that still met
    them on their journey to do this, that for this reason alone, I find
    Woman in Gold, to be a much more personal film than The Monuments Men,
    and also a better made film in general, while I still did like both
    films. Unfortunately it seems that a lot of critics are dismissing
    Woman in Gold, much like they did with The Monuments Men, although this
    one is getting slightly better reviews than the previous film. I
    personally found a lot to like here. Helen Mirren, who I have always
    found to be a really solid actress, delivers another great performance
    here as Maria Altmann. Mirren’s portrayal of her is as a feisty older
    woman who has seen a lot of tragedy and endured a lot of hardships in
    her life because of the second World War, but in her own way she is
    definitely a fighter and is a strong willed and courageous woman and
    also stubborn in a good way, whereas when she sets her heart and goals
    on something she will set out to achieve them, even if the situation
    looks hopeless. I found I cared deeply for this character and her
    strong willed spirit and also her feistiness was contagious and I could
    laugh and be amused at her character often as well. It was a great
    performance of Mirren’s that goes along with many of her others. Ryan
    Reynolds, I have not seen in a lot of films, simply because a lot of
    what he normally stars in, is not the type of films that I would
    normally go and see. I have however found that he is getting better
    with his film choices lately like Adventureland and last year’s The
    Captive. Both films I liked very much. I have never seen, Buried, but
    heard he was very good in there and that it was probably his strongest
    performance to date. Having said that, I found that he was excellent
    here as Randol Schoenberg, Maria’s lawyer who eventually turned into
    her biggest supporter and close friend. At the start of the film, his
    character is not that interested in taking on Maria’s case, but once he
    decides to do so and reflects on past memories, or what he finds out
    about his own and also Maria’s past with the second World War, he is
    bound and determined to help her recover what was rightfully hers at
    any cost, no matter the money, or difficulties they may go through
    trying to achieve this. His character his certainly strong willed in
    his own way too and you really warm up to him in the second and third
    acts of the film and I think his character is just as fascinating and
    well played as Maria, and Mirren’s portrayal of her as well. What
    makes, Woman in Gold, more than just a pleasing period piece film for
    two hours is the strong performances by it’s two very capable lead
    actors here as well as the very impressive attention to detail the
    filmmaking crew used to make this story come to life as well as the
    fact that this is a really interesting true story and along the way we
    deeply care for these characters and their mission and really want to
    see them achieve what at one time seems impossible. The back story of
    Maria’s life growing up during Nazi occupied Austria, to the fight she
    has in the present day is both equally captivating and riveting in it’s
    own way. Randol’s contemporary story is just as good as we see him
    trying to leave his mark in the world as a lawyer and also trying to
    raise a new family as well. As, I said before we really get to care for
    and root for these characters all the way. Overall, this is certainly a
    crowd pleasing film that will certainly please fans of Mirren, and make
    new fans of Reynolds and for any history and art lovers as well. A
    really well done and made picture that is better than what the critics
    are saying.

  • RforFilmApril 22, 2015Reply

    There’s a lot of gold here; historical and acting gold in Woman in Gold

    I’ve never really thought about it much, as a lot of people who visit
    art museums, but maybe I should consider the history of art a bit more.
    It’s not that I want to know how something was painted or who it was by
    (the museum description usually takes care of that), but just with how
    it made it’s way on this particular wall. Sometimes they’ll make it
    clear that it was a donation, purchase or that it might be on tour, but
    let’s say you find out that a beautiful renaissance painting was stolen
    from someone years ago. Something that would make me question not just
    the value of the work, but with the practices and standards of the
    museum that collected it.

    A story like Woman in Gold relies an interesting tale of getting back
    not just any art, but a piece of work that’s so valuable that no one
    would want it to leave their country. This may be a story about art,
    but it’s also another story about the travesty of the actions of the
    Nazis and how their actions are still being foxed in today’s time. In
    that case, Woman in Gold may be more important then we may realize.

    An elderly Maria Altmann (played by Helen Mirren) is living in Los
    Angeles when her past comes back in the form of some letters written by
    her recently deceased sister. Her sister tried to make a case to get
    back some artwork that was taken from the Nazis during their rise in
    Germany. Through flashbacks, we find that Maria came from a wealthy
    Austrian Jewish family that had lost most of their property during the
    persecution, and that while Maria and her husband were able to escape,
    her parents were unfortunate victims and dies in a Death Camp.

    Through a friend, she hires Randol Schoenberg (played by Ryan
    Reynolds), a lawyer who has no experience within the law of art, to
    help her get back her families most loved portrait, ”Portrait of Adele
    Bloch-Bauer I”. The big problem though is that the country of Austria
    regards this as one their ”Mona Lisa” and will do anything to make sure
    that they don’t lose it. Maria and Randol fly to Vienna and after
    meeting with a reporter Hubertus Czernin (played by Daniel Brühl), they
    begin their big case to retrieve back what’s rightfully theirs.

    With it’s focus on a WWII story and that our hero of the movie is
    elderly, it’s obvious that it’s target audience is not the same as one
    that’s going to watch a summer blockbuster. So rather then to put any
    large stars in here, Woman in Gold only cast a few well knowns and
    embraces it’s more play-like feel then something cinematic. What I mean
    is that the dialogue is heavy and requires you to pay a lot of interest
    in art history. In the case of myself, I liked it as I do follow the
    world of art; maybe not as much as the movies, but I found the subject
    matter fascinating enough that it made me want to know more about this
    old lady and her wanting her families property back.

    Helen Mirren is great as Maria, giving us a no nonsense but likable
    personality that I may have seen before, but Mirren always gives good
    performances. As much as I rant on Ryan Reynolds, he’s better suited
    here then he was for roles in Green Lantern and Turbo, being able to
    play a more quiet and reserved guy then he can cocky. Woman in Gold may
    not be two hours, but it does feel a little long when we get that
    cliché of one leaving the party even though we know their going to come
    back and face their fears. Had this been rewritten into something more
    out of the box, this would have been an academy award movie that should
    have been saved for the end of the year. But even had it been shorter,
    nothing in The Woman in Gold really says ”revolutionary”, but it is
    likable enough to enjoy as a story.

    I’ll give this eight portraits of Adele Bloch-Bauer I out of ten. Most
    history fans should like this as those that are into art. I doubt I
    would see it again on home video, but then again, maybe I’ll give it
    another rental

  • jadepietroApril 23, 2015Reply

    All That Glitters…

    (Rating: ☆☆☆ out of 4)

    This film is mildly recommended.

    In brief: No Midas touch…a serious-minded film that only scratches
    the surface of its important subject.

    GRADE: B-

    It seems standard practice nowadays that whenever a film is touted
    ”based on true events”, it is far from true. Upon researching this
    biography of Adele Bloch-Bauer and her family, that much is true. The
    gold standard has been slightly devalued in this noble effort that
    tells its ”true” story in the most melodramatic of ways. Woman in Gold
    simplifies an important issue (the ethical matter of stolen art during
    the Nazi reign) and tries to personalize this historic event with stick
    figures as its characters and the wobbliest of story as its source.
    While it certainly is engrossing fare, it’s a foolhardy result.

    Set in Vienna, the film centers on Klimt’s masterwork, Portrait of
    Adele Bloch-Bauer I. Once owned by the family and taken away from this
    Jewish clan and now the property of the Viennese government, the
    painting is now the treasure in question. A legal fight ensues. In one
    corner stands our worthy contender, ”Saint” Maria Altman (Helen
    Mirren), who if we are to believe, wants this artwork back in her
    possession for strictly personal reasons as the painting depicts her
    dearly beloved grandmother. Taking her case is a young idealistic
    lawyer, Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds). In the other corner are
    those nasty governmental bureaucrats who want to keep the work of art
    for its people as a symbol of patriotism and national pride. And the
    financial worth of the piece sure doesn’t hurt either.

    The painting becomes the MacGuffin in this film that brings on the
    conflict and unites both parties in their battle over ownership. Alexi
    Kaye Campbell’s misbegotten screenplay sees the issue in only black and
    white terms, with its stilted arguments and painted in the broadest of
    brush-strokes that never resemble anything remotely realistic. There is
    no balance in this weighty matter with all sympathies going to our
    stoic heroine from the outset.

    Adequately directed by Simon Curtis, the film carries its
    self-importance as its main pedigree. Adele is a feisty and
    strong-willed character, a predictable combination for the crowd-
    pleasing audience to root for and Dame Helen energizes the proceeding
    with her finely nuanced portrayal of a woman determined to fight
    injustice. But the film’s lack of reality is the real crime in
    question. (Granted the tale spans decades, yet it should still adhere
    to the facts more closely…which it does not.) Mr. Reynolds is miscast
    in the crusader role, part nebbish and part idealistic hero as written,
    although the actor is never that convincing in the latter. Also in the
    cast are Daniel Bruhl as Hubertus Czernin, an ally to the cause,
    Tatiana Maslany as the younger Adele, Max Irons as her husband, and
    Henry Goodman as her father (in flashbacks), all contributing greatly
    to their underdeveloped characters. More support is given by Charles
    Dance, Elizabeth McGovern, Frances Fisher, Jonathan Pryce, and Katie
    Holmes as Pam, all talent wasted.

    Woman in Gold is a riveting tale. The subject matter alone is
    compelling, but it remains pure fool’s gold in its filmmaking efforts.
    See this docudrama for the glowing Ms. Mirren and the glorious artwork
    on display. They’re priceless.

    Visit my blog at: http://www.dearmoviegoer.com

    ANY COMMENTS: Please contact me at: [email protected]

  • joekanuckApril 23, 2015Reply

    One of the best movies I have ever watched

    What an amazing movie. I had guessed that it would be a good movie, but
    it was done almost perfectly… I can’t recall a single flaw or change
    I thought should be made, not that I’m anybody special but we all have
    our opinions. I guess there had to be some flaw but I sure missed it.

    I knew that the cast could act but their performances were exactly
    right. I’ve always liked Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds but they outdo
    themselves. The supporting cast was just as good. Every role was
    flawless… and the only way that can happen, even with an
    extraordinary cast, is to have a master directer. I had never heard of
    Simon Curtis but he is on my radar now. It wasn’t slow, it wasn’t
    rushed, the characters neither overacted or underplayed their roles…
    not once. Everything… and I mean everything, was just right, start to
    finish.

    For goodness sake, this is a movie about a bloody painting I never
    heard of before, which I went to because I had time on my hands. I
    would have been happy with… OK. Instead, I was treated to something
    special, a rare jewel. Curtis made me care about every scene in the
    movie… not in a soppy way, but in whatever way he wanted… happy,
    sad, curious… I was only too happy to be guided through this story.
    Frankly, I was completely manipulated and I thank him for it.

    I am really trying to describe the heart of this movie… the thing at
    the centre of every scene but I just don’t have the words. It would
    take somebody more clever than I to properly do justice to it.
    Sculptors have described their art as taking away everything that isn’t
    the subject. That’s what happened here. Curtis managed to show us the
    essence of every scene. He added nothing that wasn’t necessary and
    everything that was. When it was over, it didn’t leave you wanting
    more… which may not sound like a compliment, but it is. When you
    left, you knew there was nothing left to tell. Nothing could be added
    to the movie which could have made it better… The story was complete.

    It was a rare movie that didn’t feel like a movie… it didn’t feel
    like you were watching… you were there. Everyone should see this
    movie. The Woman in Gold is simply brilliant.

  • cathys848April 24, 2015Reply

    To Tell The Truth Is To Glow And Burn

    Adele Bloch Bauer, ”The Woman In Gold” and her niece Maria Altman are
    smiling in Heaven now.

    Their fascinating lives of beauty, loss and remembrance reveals
    something deeper beneath the golden surface of the stolen art.

    If it wasn’t for Maria’s crusading journalist friend the Austrian

    Hubertus, Czernin, this raiders of the lost art story would have never
    happened.

    Hubertus worked tirelessly on this case since the early fifties and
    stayed in contact with Maria.Sadly he passed away shortly after the
    resolution of this case. Maria gave him a couple of million from the
    sale.

    Both Hubertus and Maria were well cast. However, Maria wished that
    Czernin would have gotten more credit than he did in the film. Maria
    only saw her attorney once a year.

    The flashbacks of Maria’s growing up years and exit interview from WWII
    Austria were astonishing!

    Ann Marie O Connors rendition of the story unveils some grimmer
    realities.

    Maria stood under a painting of pretty young nuns peering through the
    gates of the convent like MarIa of the Sound of Music.” What are they
    doing? Don’t they see the soldiers outside. What do the soldiers want?
    To rape them Brigitte said”P. 260

    Maria might not think that the film’s court room scene was realistic..

    Maria revealed that it was a secret that American’s were working with
    former Nazii’s Dr Herbert Wagner after WWII.

    Some of Wagner and his scientists had overseen and performed abominable
    experiments on Jewish victims at concentration camps (p258-9)

    Dr Wagner and Werner von Braun another member of the SS were later used
    to jump start NASA (rocket technology) in the United States, though
    they had overseen slave labor operations where thousands have died.

    Wagner had played a key role in the Nazi war machine, a serious charge
    at the Nuremberg trials. He and his two assistants were the first Nazi
    scientists to be secretly airlifted to the United States after the war”
    P. 258

    Dr. Wagner’s FBI handlers helpfully repeated his contention that he
    only joined the SS for professional reasons and never went to meetings.

    Maria stated that Dr. Wagner lived in Thousand Oaks after the war? Why
    is another Nazi guard being tried for 300,000 counts of murder for
    overseeing many deaths in the prison camps?

    Maria Altman also revealed that former Nazi governor Baldur von
    Schirarch (head of Nazii youth) had served only 20 years and lived long
    enough to be interviewed by David Frost. His concluding alibi with
    Frost was a quote from ”Alice In Wonderland”? (degenerate art)

    Also, Maria reflected that her gestapo minder Felix Landau was barely
    punished and lived for years in Bavaria as an interior designer. He
    loved fairy tales and had a Hungarian painter paint fairy tales on the
    walls of his sons personal nursery (degnerate art)

    I would love to help these war criminals re story their favorite
    fairytale. I would ask them what was their favorite Bible story and why
    did they think it was important to them as a child. They seem to suffer
    from what Carl Jung referred to as the ”inferior feeling function” such
    as Hitler crying when his pet parakeet died?

    I would also love to hear what Klimt’s favorite fairytale as a child
    and why he thought it was important to him as a child?

    According to O Connor Klimt may have had a Mother Complex after the
    early death of his father. He instructed the young Klimt to financially
    support the family which included his mother. She soon after had a
    break down due to being a failed opera star. This may have contributed
    to Klimt becoming a womanizer dying of syphilis.

    I have to agree with Adelle that art is an essential prism for
    understanding the world and to help people to see things differently.

    Every time I look at the painting of Adelle and this reel therapy of a
    film, I see things differently and that is the power of art

  • Mike BApril 25, 2015Reply

    Highly Recommended

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Howard SchumannApril 26, 2015Reply

    Fails to stir any deep emotions

    During World War II, the Nazis plundered an estimated 750,000 artworks
    from European countries including priceless paintings by Van Gogh,
    Degas, Vermeer, and Michelangelo. Though many paintings and other
    significant cultural artifacts were recovered by the ”Monuments Men,”
    many were destroyed or auctioned off at extremely low prices. Today,
    there are well over 100,000 items that have not been returned to their
    rightful owners. In Woman in Gold, British director Simon Curtis (”My
    Week With Marilyn”) explores the fate of one of the paintings, the
    Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I by Austrian symbolist painter Gustav
    Klimt, which was seized by the Nazis from its owner, Ferdinand
    Bloch-Bauer.

    The painting, an oil and gold on canvas, ended up in Vienna’s Belvedere
    Palace and became a popular tourist attraction, referred to as
    Austria’s ”Mona Lisa.” Sadly, its original title denoting its Jewish
    heritage was replaced with the generic ”Woman in Gold.” Based on a true
    story, the film depicts the seven-year legal fight of Adele
    Bloch-Bauer’s niece, Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren, ”Hitchcock”), a
    Jewish refugee and Los Angeles shop keeper, to reclaim her family’s
    collection of Klimt paintings from the Austrian government. To assist
    her in her fight, Maria is helped by a friend’s son, Randol Schoenberg
    (a bland and miscast Ryan Reynolds, ”The Captive”), grandson of
    composer Arnold Schoenberg.

    Schoenberg has just started working for a big law firm and has no
    experience in the world of art collection, but Maria is confident in
    his ability to persuade the Austrian authorities to return the
    painting, whose worth was estimated at $135 million dollars. After
    overcoming her reluctance to return to the country in which her family
    perished, Maria and her young attorney (with apologizes to his pregnant
    wife, Pam (Katie Holmes, ”The Giver”), travel to Vienna where
    flashbacks to Maria’s life as a little girl (Tatiana Maslany, ”The
    Vow”) in a comfortable middle-class home provide a background for the
    painting’s creation.

    Distressing scenes of the Anschluss in Austria in 1938 are shown where
    Nazi soldiers are greeted by cheering crowds and Maria witnesses the
    humiliation of Jews forced to clean sidewalks and have their facial
    hair removed. In a tense sequence, Maria and her husband Fritz’s (Max
    Irons, ”The Host”) narrowly escape pursuing German officers in their
    attempt to leave Austria and fly to Cologne, then to London. Back in
    present time, Maria and Randol are assisted by Austrian investigative
    journalist Hubertus Czernin (Daniel Brühl, ”A Most Wanted Man”), as
    they try to convince a newly formed committee on art reclamation that
    the stolen Klimt paintings are rightfully and legally hers.

    In her will, Adele, who died at an early age, asked her husband to
    leave the paintings to the Austrian State Gallery upon her death, but
    whether or not this is legally binding is a key subject in the case.
    Eventually the case will end up in the U.S. Supreme Court in a rare
    instance of a U.S. citizen suing a foreign government. Woman in Gold
    tackles a great many weighty themes such as Austria’s unwillingness to
    confront their World War II collaboration with the Nazis and the
    lurking rise of anti-Semitism in Europe, shown in a confrontation with
    a passerby who tells them that ”Not everything is about the Holocaust.”
    Unfortunately, however, the film takes on too much and lacks a clear
    focus. Characters are presented in broad strokes that fail to do
    justice to their humanity, depicting them more as symbols for a cause
    than as real human beings. Though Schoenberg discovers a connection
    with his grandfather, the famed twelve-tone composer that he never
    knew, the matter is barely touched on. Woman in Gold is to be commended
    for its attempt to increase awareness of a little known aspect of the
    Nazi atrocity, yet with its tepid direction and over reliance on
    sentimentality and clichés, it fails to truly stir any deep emotions.

  • ([email protected])April 28, 2015Reply

    Two Historical Dramas Worth Your Time

    IF YOU’RE LOOKING for quality productions and thought provoking themes
    that carry into post-screening over-coffee conversation and well
    beyond, two new historical dramas topped by A-list stars are just what
    the doctor ordered.

    ”Woman in Gold,” starring Helen Mirren as a woman determined to reclaim
    a lost art work stolen by the Nazis, and ”The Water Diviner,” directed
    by Russell Crowe and starring him as a father determined to find his
    three presumed-dead sons following the Battle of the Gallipoli, are
    those rare films that handle scope and intimacy with equal adeptness.

    In ‘Gold,” a British-American production directed by Simon Curtis from
    a script by Alexi Kaye Campbell, Mirren plays the late Maria Altmann,
    an aging Jewish refugee living in Los Angeles who enlists a young
    lawyer named Randy Schoenberg (played to perfection by Ryan Reynolds in
    a bit of Jimmy Stewart channeling) to fight the government of Austria
    to reclaim Gustav Klimt’s iconic portrait of her aunt, ”Portrait of
    Adele Bloch-Bauer,” which was stolen by the Nazis from her relatives
    just before World War II. Altmann took her fight all the way to the
    United State Supreme Court _ and Austria.

    To say much more would spoil the film, but suffice it to say that the
    writing, directing and acting are so skillfully rendered that the story
    is both moving and educational without being maudlin or dull.

    Mirren is completely believable as Altmann, and Reynolds opens eyes as
    young attorney Schoenberg. The supporting cast _ Katie Holmes (as
    Schoenberg’s wife), Daniel Bruhl, Tatiana Maslany, Max Irons, Charles
    Dance, Elizabeth McGovern (as a judge!!) and Jonathan Pryce _ show
    their respect for the piece and its subject matter through wonderfully
    understated performances.

    The film was screened in the Berlinale Special Galas section of the
    Berlin International Film Festival.

    ”The Water Diviner,” or ”Last Hope,” an historical fictional drama, is
    an Australian production directed by and starring Crowe with a
    screenplay written by Andrew Anastasios and Andrew Knight from a book
    of the same name by Andrew Anastasios and Dr. Meaghan Wilson-
    Anastasios.

    The film begins in 1919, just after World War I (1914-1918), as Joshua
    Connor (Crowe), an Australian farmer and water diviner, has discovered
    ground water on his land and is digging a well. His three sons have
    left to serve with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) at
    the Battle of Gallipoli five years before and are thought to have been
    killed in battle.

    When Joshua’s devastated wife, Eliza (Jacqueline McKenzie), commits
    suicide because of the loss, he vows to bring back their bodies and
    bury them next to hers. Joshua travels to Turkey and stays in an
    Istanbul hotel operated by Ayshe (a hauntingly beautiful reed of a
    woman, Olga Kurylenko), who has been widowed by the war, and grows
    close to her little son, Orhan (a charming Dylan Georgiades), whose
    unusual way of bringing Joshua to his mother’s hotel is alone worth the
    price of admission. Ayshe at first is suspicious of Joshua, but after
    learning about his reasons for being in Turkey, that changes, much to
    the chagrin of her brother-in-law, who had coveted her as his own.

    Ayshe suggests that Joshua bribe a fisherman so he can go to Gallipoli
    by boat. He does, and upon arriving there, meets all sorts of
    resistance, especially from the ANZACs, who are taking part in a mass
    burial detail from which civilians are banned. There he meets Major
    Hasan (Yilmaz Erdogan in a riveting turn), a Turkish officer who is
    helping on the mission. The major becomes a friend and ally of Joshua’s
    and we’re off to the races.

    ”The Water Diviner” at times boasts the kind of lush scope used by
    director David Lean in films like ”Lawrence of Arabia” and ”Doctor
    Zhivago,” and like those films, manages to flesh out both character and
    story with unusual depth and intimacy.

    Both ”Woman in Gold” and ”The Water Diviner” give the audience a run
    for their money, providing a sense of emotional attachment while
    offering historical perspective and enlightenment.

  • Smiths1-ReviewApril 29, 2015Reply

    Woman in gold review

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • daviddavidlim86May 1, 2015Reply

    Why You Shouldn’t Always Trust the Film Critics

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • glasslensMay 2, 2015Reply

    Enjoyable good film about a serious subject but with many faults.

    Woman In Gold – what a great tale from which to make a film. It would
    be hard to go wrong wouldn’t it. And, they did it well. The result is a
    crowd-pleaser and although it has it’s faults, overall you have to say
    that it is an enjoyable film. I’m not going to talk about the story
    because it is well known and most of the other reviewers have dwelt
    upon that. The film does the story well. So instead, I’m going to dwell
    on the issues that have separated this overall enjoyable film from what
    it might have been – a great film.

    The choice of Mirren in the lead role. She is a reasonable actor but
    you cannot see her without seeing the Queen! She always looks like
    Helen Mirren made up to look like the person she is playing rather than
    being able to ”be” that person. This adds a layer of shallowness
    immediately.

    The choice of lightweight Ryan Reynolds as the lawyer is a mystery. He
    only adds to the shallowness. There are so many great actors working as
    waiters in restaurants yet we have to put up with this lightweight. Why
    for goodness sake? Perhaps he is popular in the US. The name Weinstein
    in the production credits says everything (and means it will probably
    get an Oscar).

    Of the three lead actors, Daniel Brühl shines above Reynolds and Mirren
    and gives some much-needed weight. A different league.

    The real star is the picture itself – Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer by
    Gustav Klimt – 1907. Stunning and imprinted on the mind of all who have
    seen it and well photographed in this film.

    The use of Ross Emery as DP was another odd choice as his career is
    based around car-chase films and films like Wolverine and The Matrix.
    It showed. Oh how Dick Pope or any number of other good DPs could have
    improved on the visuals.

    As with so many films made for the US market, you constantly felt that
    your emotions were being toyed with. Little set pieces with false
    jeopardy, everyone applauding when the goodies win. Pass me the
    sick-bag someone. And a glossy sheen painted over everything and all
    ends happily ever after. A bit like eating sugar-coated chocolates –
    superficially satisfying but very soon sickening. Still, that’s how our
    US cousins seem to like it.

    Despite all these criticisms, I really enjoyed this film in a sugary
    way. Full marks must go BBC Films who on a small budget have a knack of
    picking the right films to be involved with.

    I guess it will be on TV in a while and it will not loose much from
    being in a smaller screen.

  • Neil WelchMay 3, 2015Reply

    Excellent

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Python HyenaMay 6, 2015Reply

    Mirren is Golden!

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Roland E. Zwick ([email protected])May 7, 2015Reply

    ”Monuments Men” done right

    Set in the late 1990s, ”Woman in Gold” is a true-life David-and-
    Goliath story about a headstrong elderly woman who, essentially, takes
    on an entire nation in her pursuit of justice.

    The woman is 82-year-old Maria Altmann, a native Austrian from a
    well-to-do Jewish family, who fled with her husband to America to
    escape Nazi persecution. Now that Maria, who currently resides in
    Pasadena, is nearing the end of her life, she’s decided to try and get
    back some of the priceless artwork that was confiscated when the Nazis
    ransacked her family’s home, pieces that now reside in various museums
    around Austria. Even though the country has ostensibly adopted a policy
    of ”restitution” to the Jewish families whose artwork was stolen, the
    government is actually loath to relinquish its hold on the pieces,
    which it now considers to be national treasures. Maria, thus, turns to
    her friend’s son, Randol Schoenberg, for help in getting back a series
    of paintings that once belonged to her family, in particular, one
    (unofficially referred to as the ”’Mona Lisa’ of Austria”), a portrait
    of her beloved aunt who died at a young age in the 1920s. Because the
    identity of the woman in the painting was unknown for so long, the work
    became known in the art world as ”Woman in Gold.”

    Schoenberg is a neophyte attorney whose own grandfather perished in a
    concentration camp. Initially reluctant to become involved with this
    eccentric old woman and her seemingly hopeless case, Schoenberg,
    despite having little experience in restoration law, eventually relents
    and dedicates much of his waking life to seeing that the paintings –
    and especially ”Woman in Gold” – are restored to their rightful owner.

    Written by Alexi Kaye Campbell and directed by Simon Curtis, ”Woman in
    Gold” is a legal thriller and an historical drama centered around the
    burgeoning friendship between two vastly different individuals who
    likely would never have met or, at least, never connected emotionally
    under other circumstances. Together, this determined duo triumphs over
    one bureaucratic setback and one legal hurdle after another on their
    way to ultimate victory (the case even makes its all the way to the
    United States Supreme Court). Throughout, the screenplay regularly
    flashes back to Maria’s harrowing experiences living under Nazi rule.

    In both format and style, ”Woman in Gold” is a fairly conventional
    ”feel-good historical drama,” a bit bland and risk-averse, and, as
    such, it misses the opportunity to really distinguish itself in a major
    way. But despite the temptation to view it through cynical eyes, I must
    say that it’s awfully hard not to give ”Woman in Gold” the benefit of
    the doubt, partly because the scenes set in the past can’t help but be
    affecting, and partly because Mirren never falls into the trap of
    becoming the starch, brittle, cranky old-lady stereotype that a lesser
    actress might have had a much more difficult time avoiding. It’s also
    nice to see Ryan Reynolds taking on a more challenging role than the
    ones he usually gets to play (his slightly nerdy appearance is an
    obvious attempt at downplaying his matinée-idol handsomeness and thus
    generating some gravitas for the character), but he feels slightly
    overmatched when put up against Mirren (as who wouldn’t be?). He has
    some very good moments, no doubt, but a certain overall callowness in
    the performance limits its effectiveness and knocks the movie
    off-balance.

    ”Woman in Gold” explores some interesting themes, the most notable
    being whether a victim of something as incomprehensibly horrific as the
    Holocaust can ever really achieve any kind of peace in this life or
    whether the wounds simply run too deep to ever really heal. The outcome
    of Maria’s quest provides one answer, while the lovely coda with which
    Campbell chooses to end his film seems to provide another.

    Incidentally, ”Woman in Gold” might make an interesting double feature
    with ”The Monuments Men,” a lesser movie that, nevertheless, deals with
    some of the same subject matter as ”Woman in Gold.” But the latter is
    the far richer film.

  • patsworldMay 14, 2015Reply

    Woman In Gold Is Pure Gold

    First of all, there can never be a bad movie if it has within its cast
    the superb Helen Mirren. She is that good. And Ryan Reynolds is no
    slouch in the acting field, either. I so enjoyed his role in this movie
    as a young attorney, feeling his way into a career and having the case
    of a lifetime dropped in his lap. Watching him learn and cope was
    perfect. Nicely written, well plotted, and I very much liked the
    shifting back and forth from the early war days as the legal problem
    was set up to the present time as the solution unfolded. For me, there
    was one scene where Katie Holmes, as Reynold’s wife, has a rather
    abrupt flip-flop in her thinking that had me convinced the writers
    couldn’t find a better way to accomplish that…or perhaps they simply
    ran out of time…who knows. But all in all it was a work of art about
    art. A fine film.

  • JEN JENMay 21, 2015Reply

    In a nutshell

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • fordmodelt FordMay 22, 2015Reply

    Well written and well acted telling of a true story.

    This isn’t a great movie, but it’s very good, it’s well done and
    engaging. It addresses a thorny issue – many Austrians welcomed the
    Nazis with open arms and were more than happy to watch the degradation
    of the Jews by the Nazis. While this question underlies the storyline,
    the issue doesn’t overwhelm the movie.

    The script is strong. The real Schoenberg was a consultant on the film,
    so it should be pretty accurate. The acting is also strong. Helen
    Mirren is always great and Ryan Reynolds puts in a solid performance
    too, especially in the short scene after his character visits the
    Holocaust memorial in Vienna. It wasn’t a big emotional drama, but
    quietly understated and well acted. The chemistry between the 2 main
    characters by the end of the movie is convincing. Katie Holmes does a
    good job in her role, though it isn’t a big role. Daniel Bruhl was very
    strong in his role, and he’s generally very good in everything I’ve
    seen him in.

    The one annoyance for me was the casting of Elizabeth Macgovern as an
    American judge. She didn’t have a big role either, but as soon as she
    appeared on screen, there was a ripple through the audience ”Downton
    Abbey”. This woman really can’t act. The simpering, head tilted,
    looking up expression of the Countess from Downton was thankfully not
    quite there in full force in her one scene in this movie. But really
    she just can’t act and has one expression in every movie or series that
    she’s in, including this one. When I looked at her bio, I wasn’t at all
    surprised to see that she’s married to the director of this film.
    Because that could be the only possible reason that she was cast.

    So apart from that one annoyance, I’d happily recommend this movie to
    anyone. It could have been presented in a more dramatic way, more of a
    WWII escape thriller, more of a courtroom drama, but the director chose
    to go with a straightforward telling of a very interesting story, with
    excellent use of flashbacks. Really it was well done.

  • Diane D'AngeloMay 25, 2015Reply

    Under-rated

    I put off seeing this film due to so-so reviews from newspaper film
    critics. After seeing it today, it reaffirms my vow to continue to
    ignore said reviewers. This is a fine two hours of solid entertainment
    buoyed by a outstanding performance by Helen Mirren. Yes, there are
    weaknesses in the script, but it’s still a very much worth seeing. The
    storyline is provocative. Do the wounds of bigotry and injustice every
    leave us? Will justice take away the pain of genocide? These Holocaust
    stories need to be told, especially as survivors grow fewer and fewer
    each day. There is room for movies that grab you by the heart rather
    than by the throat. Give me ”Woman in Gold” over the sensory assault of
    the latest Mad Max flick any day.

  • hugoaspinallMay 26, 2015Reply

    Woman in Gold – great movie, important historical message

    ”Woman in Gold” is more than a moving feature film based on a true
    story, starring a legend like Helen Mirren. It also conveys an
    important historical message about Austria’s complicity in the
    Holocaust. For too long, Austria has gotten away with being the ”first
    victim” of (German) Nazi aggression (the Allies characterized Austria
    as the ”first victim” at Yalta in order to encourage (almost
    non-existent) Austrian resistance). ”Woman in Gold” destroys that myth
    and shows the true level of complicity. The documentary that inspired
    ”Woman in Gold” – ”Stealing Klimt” (www.stealingklimt.com) – also shows
    the true level of Austrian complicity and actually shows in greater
    detail than ”Woman in Gold” the level of terror and theft that occurred
    during WW2 and some historical facts that do not make it into ”Woman in
    Gold”, like Maria’s husband, Fritz being sent to Dachau, like Maria’s
    brother being saved by one of Hitler’s relations (Hiedler), about how
    the Austrian Government was given the opportunity to buy the five
    Klimts at market price but decided not to! All in all, a grim period in
    history and ”Woman in Gold” is important for shining a spotlight on
    this grimy period.

  • classicalsteveMay 30, 2015Reply

    Important Victory Over Fascism’s Rape of Europa 70 Years in the Making: A Story About More than Art Restiutution

    In 1907, early-modern painter Gustav Klimt (1862–1918) created the
    first of two portraits of a beautiful Viennese Jewish woman, Adele
    Bloch-Bauer (1881-1925). The painting on canvas incorporates both oil
    and gold leaf giving the work a beautiful sparkle when seen in person,
    almost like a large golden jewel. The painting incorporates traditional
    representation and abstract elements. While the upper part of the woman
    is certainly discernible, i.e. face, neck, breast, and hands, the rest
    of the painting reflects both the Art Nouveau and modernist style
    coming into vogue in the 20th century. Ancient Egyptian-like eyes adorn
    her golden dress towards the bottom, and geometric patterns surround
    her face. Although the official name of the painting is simply
    ”Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I” by Gustav Klimt, it has been
    nicknamed ”Woman in Gold” and regarded as the Mona Lisa of Austria.

    The Klimt portrait has a violent and horrific history. In the early
    20th century, the family of Adele Bloch-Bauer was a prominent Viennese
    family making their wealth through commerce, and the painting hung
    majestically in their lavish apartments. Tragically, Adele Bloch-Bauer
    died young in 1925 and had requested her two portraits be donated to
    the Austrian State Museum upon the death of her husband. Of course, she
    had no idea the scourge of fascist ideology would overtake her country
    only 10 years later. In 1938, the sitter’s widower was compelled to
    flee Vienna when the German Reich annexed Austria. Although he escaped,
    dying in 1945, he was forced to leave behind his art collection
    including ”Woman in Gold” and four additional Klimt paintings which
    were confiscated by the Nazis. The Klimt paintings would then reside in
    the Austrian State Gallery for the next half century.

    The story of the film begins in the 1990’s. The niece of Adele
    Bloch-Bauer, Maria Altmann (played by Helen Mirren in an Academy-Award
    caliber performance), a Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany now living in
    Los Angeles, has become aware of recent stories of so-called ”art
    restitution”, the reuniting of pilfered art to rightful ownership. Most
    of the restitution stories center on art plundered by the German Nazis
    in the 1930’s and early 1940’s, which, by some estimates, number in the
    100,000’s. She solicits the help of fairly green lawyer Randol
    Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), who, although born in America, has Austrian
    ancestry. In fact, he’s the grandson of early-modernist composer Arnold
    Schoenberg who was also forced to flee Austria in the 1930’s not only
    because of his Jewish background but because of his use of 12-tone
    serialism in his compositions, regarded as ”degenerate music” by the
    Nazis.

    Altmann and Schoenberg become a team resolved to reclaim through the
    legal process the Klimt paintings stolen by the Nazis, including and
    most importantly ”Woman in Gold”. Their first step is to bring their
    case to the Art Restitution Board run by the powers-that-be of the
    state-run museums in Austria. Reluctantly, Altmann agrees to fly to
    Vienna with Schoenberg, the first time she has returned to the city of
    her youth. At first they seem to have a strong case. During their stay,
    the team of Altmann-Schoenberg find the documents of Bloch-Bauer
    regarding the paintings. It’s not really a will in the legal sense,
    just a kind of ”wish”. The real will is that of Adele’s widower,
    Ferdinand Block-Blauer, who names his heirs as his nieces, one of which
    is Maria Altmann.

    However, the plaintiffs suspect the museum doesn’t want to give up the
    paintings without a fight. The board rejects their case, citing as
    legal grounds that the sitter of ”Woman in Gold”, Adele Bloch-Bauer,
    had consented to donate the portraits to Austria. The Austrian
    government further believes they have legal claim to the paintings
    because of the surviving documents, in this case the document written
    by Adele. Of course, being of Jewish origin and given the events which
    would transpire 10 years after her death, the plaintiffs are convinced
    Adele, had she lived, would have retracted such an offer. Also, it’s a
    minor miracle the paintings survive at all, considering much of this
    kind of art was regarded as ”degenerate” by the Nazis. They can sue the
    Austrian Museums in Vienna, but the legal costs would be astronomical.
    They seem to have lost. Then, just before they leave Vienna, the two
    visit the Holocaust Memorial. Schoenberg has an experience which
    becomes a turning point in the film, and he resolves to continue the
    fight. If they have any chance of succeeding, they need to find another
    means aside from directly suing the government in Austria.

    The film chronicles the plaintiff’s continued legal battle to restore
    the Klimt paintings to their rightful heir, Maria Altmann. The Austrian
    government wanted to keep the Klimt paintings in Austria, in part
    because of its iconic nature. While they had an argument because of the
    importance of iconic art residing in countries of origin, there were
    greater issues involved. This case was not just about art; it was about
    justice, and the way the film plays out, the museum’s argument
    dismisses fundamental issues about injustice.

    Three-quarters of a century ago, some extremists overtook the
    governments of Germany and Austria, led by one Adolph Hitler. They put
    into place rules which made Hitler absolute and unquestioned ruler. He
    decided that particular law-abiding legal residences of Germany and
    Austria had no legal rights only because they were of certain ethnic
    and religious origins. These people’s lives were destroyed, being
    forced either to abandon their homes or forced into concentration and
    death camps. Some of these people owned wonderful art collections, and
    these were ”legally” but wrongfully confiscated by the fascist regime.
    Nothing will make up for these losses. However, we as a civilized
    culture have a moral obligation to make restitution of the objects lost
    by living heirs. The restitution of art is not just about whether a
    piece of art belongs in a museum. It’s about a statement against the
    wrongs of fascism.

  • Red-125June 1, 2015Reply

    See the movie, then see the painting

    Woman in Gold (2015), directed by Simon Curtis, is about a
    painting–Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer–a 1907 work by Gustav Klimt.
    The painting was owned by Austrian Jews, and it was immediately
    confiscated when Austria joined Germany and the Nazis gained control of
    the country.

    The beautiful painting was proudly displayed in Austria after World War
    II ended. The basic plot of this film is the attempt of an elderly
    descendant of the owners–Helen Mirren–to regain what was stolen from
    her family. In this quest she’s aided by a young lawyer–Randol
    Schoenberg–and an Austrian journalist, played by Daniel Brühl.

    We know the painting was eventually recovered, so there’s no actual
    suspense. However, that doesn’t mean the movie isn’t gripping and
    compelling. The Austrian government fought with every tool at its
    disposal to keep the painting, and the David & Goliath struggle must
    have truly looked hopeless at the time. (It’s easy in retrospect to
    say, ”Of course she should and will get the painting.” But this battle
    was waged for seven years, and, while it was going on, there must have
    been more grim moments than happy ones.)

    The most poignant part of the movie isn’t about the painting per se,
    but about the fate of Austrian and German Jews, who believed they were
    integrated into society, and were respected by all. This society turned
    upon them in an instant, and suddenly they were fleeing for their
    lives. Some of them escaped, but most didn’t. The society and culture
    they loved suddenly had no use for them, and wanted them destroyed.
    Even those who survived physically must have been scarred forever
    psychologically.

    People say, ”You’ve seen the movie, now read he book.” Well, there is,
    indeed, a book, but what I really mean is, ”You’ve seen the movie. Now
    see the painting.” The Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer has pride of place
    in the Neue Galerie on New York’s Upper East Side (near the
    Metropolitan Museum of Art.) We saw it, and it is indeed beautiful.
    People are lined up around the block to view the painting that was
    taking away forcibly, and taken back legally.

  • dantonstlJune 1, 2015Reply

    oh no, from what is this, to oh thats katie holmes

    and then when I just saw away from the maddening crowd I thought That
    That was Katie Holmes too also? OMG. so voting for this film, man its
    better than paul blart the mall cop part one and two. its better than
    pitch perfect one and two. but it was useless. it was uneventful. so
    like when tom hardy quits his job, and when ryan Reynolds quits his…
    when I say tom hardy I mean in the child 44 film, here, he quits, and
    its to get that money, find it, there he needs to find the baby
    killers…there’s no way they interact or are sequels, Unless you opt
    for PINHEAD somehow someway, because like, whats up with that
    goldschlager crap flakin out on some painting which isn’t awesome, but
    insured? go on.

  • TurfseerJune 2, 2015Reply

    Critics with mixed and negative reviews have underrated this fascinating tale of art restitution and the Holocaust

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • bbewnyloracJune 5, 2015Reply

    Good film

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • ScreenthoughtsJune 10, 2015Reply

    Gustav Klimt. Helen Mirren. The same director who brought us ”My Week with Marilyn”.

    Hollister & O’Toole were asked to moderate a panel of experts (weighing
    in on the art, the legal issues, and the movie itself) in conjunction
    with a special premiere screening of ”Woman in Gold”. The panel was so
    informative, we wanted to share some of that information with our
    listeners.

    So Jerry Forman, Esq. was kind enough to join us in our studio – Jerry
    is well-known in legal circles for his work on seeking restitution for
    Nazi crimes – he also happens to be the author of Graphic History of
    Antisemitism. Jerry provides great insight into Maria Altmann’s case –
    a fascinating triumph – everything from what to do if you find yourself
    before the U.S. Supreme Court and you don’t understand the question –
    to how Maria Altmann’s attorney found jurisdiction in a bookstore. Ryan
    Reynolds might have played a lawyer on the big screen, but ”Foreign
    Sovereign Immunities Act” naturally rolls right off Jerry’s tongue.

    Woman in Gold

    Meanwhile, O’Toole’s nose was in the book inspired by the same set of
    characters: The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt’s
    Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Anne-Marie O’Connor.
    O’Toole thinks the book should be an entire mini-series (The Orient
    Express! Syphilis! Bambi!) – it’s that rich.

    As always, Hollister humorously keeps us all on track – weighing in on
    the performances (Jonathan Pryce; Katie Holmes; Elizabeth McGovern) –
    and what she thinks of both the painting and the movie.

    Trust us: if you’re a deep-diver, this is one podcast you don’t want to
    miss.

    http://screenthoughts.net/podcast/woman-gold/

  • LaakbaarJune 11, 2015Reply

    Viennese memories

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Baron WeerenJune 12, 2015Reply

    Oscar-worthy Mirren steals the show

    Woman in Gold, beautifully written and acted with gripping performances
    from Ryan Reynolds and Daniel Brühl alongside memorable cameos from
    Elizabeth McGovern and Moritz Bleibtreu, deserves several Oscar-
    nominations. Helen Mirren delivers a tour-de-force performance and the
    entire film mirrors high production standards, excellent continuity and
    obviously skillful direction from Simon Curtis along with a wonderful
    musical score.

    Those pundits here and on other sites panning this little gem because
    they are either anti-Semitic or think that money and lawyers getting
    rich was the only motive for this real-life story have missed the point
    entirely and should probably stick to watching mindless shlock like
    Jurassic World instead of something tender and lovingly crafted dealing
    with a difficult but nevertheless touching story told with a warmth,
    obvious love and pride of craftsmanship that is not often found in many
    films these days.

  • dromascaJune 14, 2015Reply

    the impossible restitution

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • mickeyno-79178June 20, 2015Reply

    Good Movie – yet…

    The story is of course a big one, and its out to give you thrills,
    hate, joy and hope. Unfortunately Ryan Reynolds took away many of
    those. His acting was predictable, joyless and heartless and mostly:
    Not believable. Helen Mirren did her part just like expected,
    believable and she gave us all the emotions we requested and required
    to feel this movie as what it should be: A Reminder.

    Yet; I gave it a 8 for a good display on the reaction of the ‘Takers’
    and the new Generations of it. There is a big Gap between ‘What is
    right’, ‘What should be right’. Forgetting is never a solution, yet the
    new Generations acquire the right to ‘move on’. The Movie shows that
    ‘moving on’ is an Option, yet not a Solution.

    Enjoy the movie. I just wish someone else played Ryan Reynolds part.

  • Anirban DeyJune 20, 2015Reply

    The truth been told

    The story is about Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), a Viennese born
    resident of Los Angeles, who fought the Austrian government for
    ownership of various paintings (mainly the ”Woman In Gold”, which was
    her aunt’s painting painted by Gustav Klimt), stolen from her family by
    the Nazi Party during the second world war. The story moves on a very
    emotional note as it shows the harassment and torture the Jewish people
    had to go through during the second world war. The ”Woman In Gold” had
    became a icon of the Austrian culture and the government reluctant to
    let it go. Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds) a lawyer and Maria Altmann
    teams up and decides to do whatever they can to own those paintings.
    Also a young Austrian journalist Hubertus Czernin (Daniel Brühl) comes
    to their help, and provides them all the assistance needed during their
    stay in Austria.

    The film is something which defines how art can influence the society
    and bind it. A must watch…

  • A_Different_DrummerJune 21, 2015Reply

    Hint: this is not Perry Mason and this is not Suits

    ”Something happened out there and I just can’t let it go.” (dialog,
    Reynolds)

    The negative reviews for Woman In Gold seem to be from reviewers
    expecting a cross between Witness for The Prosecution and Jurassic
    World.

    That is not what this movie is about.

    While based on a real story about a WW2 survivor who tried to reclaim a
    stolen painting from the Austrian government (a govt stuck in full-on
    ”stonewall” mode) the producers clearly chose to use the tale as a
    metaphor for a much larger story about some of the worst aspects of
    human nature, to wit: doing nothing while everyone around you is
    committing the most evil acts and, later on, attempting to profit from
    your own inactivity.

    In this light, the alleged ”flaws” of ”sentimental flashbacks” and
    other criticisms melt like butter on a hot day.

    Reynolds is not bad, especially for a young actor who may be trying to
    put roles like ”Green Lantern” behind him. A few more performances like
    this and he could actually do it.

    Mirren is nothing short of extraordinary. Incredible. There are points
    in the film where the script fails, or the direction fails, or
    something fails, and you can almost see her reach over to pick up the
    entire film and place it on her shoulders, and then carry it stoically
    to the the next scene.

    Extraordinary actress. (Especially if you compare this role to her
    participation in the ”RED” franchise, for example.)

    The film is recommended. Unless of course you would rather watch
    Jurassic World.

  • Nicole of ArchonCinemaReviews.comJune 23, 2015Reply

    Touching and emotional but seemingly bland

    Woman in Gold is one woman’s story and perseverance to reclaim the
    possessions stolen from her family by the Nazi regime nearly sixty
    years earlier.

    Elderly Maria Altmann, played by Helen Mirren, must return to her home
    city of Vienna and wage in battle against the Austrian government for
    one of its most prized national treasures, Gustave Klimt’s ”Portrait of
    Adele Bloch-Bauer I.” Fighting for restitution in a battle that means
    near certain defeat, she and lawyer Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds)
    engage in a lengthy legal battle to recover the painting to its
    rightful owner.

    A film as much in the past as it is in the present, Woman in Gold
    perfectly conveys the open wounds left by living through such an
    atrocity as Nazi persecution. Told through seamless flashbacks to the
    era and rise of the Third Reich in Austria during World War II, there
    are two stories being told in the film. The first being the fight of
    Maria and Randy for the return of her family’s heirlooms and the story
    of outrageous crimes her elders faced.

    In the moments when the Nazis are ravaging the homes of Jewish
    families, a hatred and anxiety will bubble up from within you at the
    injustice and hopelessness of the events. The blind hostilities that
    led to near eradication of so many families’ histories and how
    unremarkable Altmann’s experience is only fuels the emotional
    connection the audience has with the narrative.

    The judicial happenings are well paced and a lull never occurs, nor
    does any part of it feel unnecessarily sensationalized for cinematic
    effect, and the performances are powerful and realistic. While sad,
    uplifting and historically informative, there is a part of Woman in
    Gold that feels blandly disjointed. Perhaps it is the lack of creative
    mark on the drama that leads it to feeling average and not miraculous.

    Please check out our website for full reviews of all the recent
    releases.

  • abhishekbachan_34June 23, 2015Reply

    Why the Antisemitic critics slammed this film ?

    I would prefer an out and out Nazi to a covertly antisemitic critic any
    day. They have become politicians instead of remaining film critics.
    They do not have an issue with portraying Germans or Austrians in a bad
    light during World War 2 but they do have an issue with showing Germans
    or Austrians who subscribe to the same ideology after the war even if
    it is factual. In their narrow and insular minds Austria changed
    overnight and since this film bursts their bubble they gave it bad
    reviews. It is the ONLY reason. This has exposed their ultra-liberal
    leanings and moral and intellectual bankruptcy. Because they are
    deniers of history and out of sync with reality I have decided to
    expose them with this review and give this film a 10. The appreciation
    of the audience for this film shows that they are far more honest and
    apolitical than film critics.

    Negationism is the art of negating facts in so many clever and wily
    ways, that nobody knows anymore where Truth is. – Francois Gautier.

  • Nicole CJune 23, 2015Reply

    Compelling portrayal of a true story.

    I have an affinity for historical stories, and the juxtaposition of the
    past and the present in this is something that was superbly done. The
    transitions between the two times seem so effortless and natural like
    the slow pan of a camera, and it wasn’t disorienting at all.

    Irons and Maslany have great chemistry and did a great job acting wise.
    Mirren and Reynolds too did really well, but to be honest I don’t
    really understand Reynolds’ character much. His look and demeanour is
    sometimes that of a shy, awkward person, but he isn’t really like that
    plus the fact that he’s a lawyer makes it a little more confusing since
    lawyers are mostly the opposite. Or maybe it was Reynold’s acting… On
    the other hand Mirren gives an outstanding performance and accurately
    captures the emotions of her character that the audience cannot help
    but feel for her.

    The decorations and costumes – especially that of the past, was really
    intricate and detailed. A very artsy kind of atmosphere with many
    valued belongings, which makes me wonder what the father/ father’s
    brother did for a living but we never really find out.

    Also, though the storyline is not complicated, I kind of lost track
    with the legal procedures for a little bit. They go through many sort
    of ‘trials’, but it got clearer as the film went on.

    Read more movie reviews at: championangels.wordpress.com

  • Bob AnJune 24, 2015Reply

    10

    Now…this is how you make the film about art, stolen paintings and
    Nazi looting. Not those Monuments Men movie which was totally awful and
    completely not artistic!

    I am a lover of art and Klimt and this painting – Woman in Gold is one
    of the reproductions in my room. I was familiar with the thing behind
    the painting but not entirely and I think that this movie does it a
    real justice!

    Helen is brilliant in her role. The girl who plays Adele is really
    similar to painting portrait.

    The movie was done in a really good pace. Slowly explaining the story,
    and mixing past and present. I wish more movies like this one were done
    or will be done!

    9 from me.Highly recommend to all art lovers.

  • 851222June 25, 2015Reply

    Sentimental, involving and entertaining drama

    Greetings from Lithuania.

    ”Woman in Gold” (2015) is shamefully sentimental, yet very entertaining
    and at the times moving picture. It tels a real story of a woman who
    wanted to return a painting stolen by Nazis from her family during WW2.
    The story takes place mainly in present times, but there is flashback
    story showing us of how did all happen back in the beginning of WW2.

    Acting was uniformly good by both leads, but especially by Helen Mirren
    – man does she also look beautiful at the age of 70! Script is
    engaging, and director did a very solid job in keeping this movie in
    pace – at running time 1 h 40 min this movie barely drags and involving
    from start till finish.

    Overall, ”Woman in Gold” is a drama, but it’s a very entertaining and
    involving one. It’s expertly paced and although it’s very sentimental
    at moments, it’s never a ”tearjerker” yet it manages to be moving
    mainly because of very good acting by Helen Mirren. This is a movie
    that many will adore. A solid 8/10.

  • harrisons445June 26, 2015Reply

    Maria Altmann tries to get her possession back

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • pytagoras314June 28, 2015Reply

    Polished, Tame and Lacking

    A watchable movie with nothing really spectacular to set it apart. It
    does bring a certain drama into play though with holocaust context
    while leaving the atrocities to a tamer depiction, grasped only in
    abstract. You sense that the aim of the story is the emotional hyphen
    as the subject for the procession of the plot remains in second plan.
    When the fairy tale ending comes, you feel robbed of realism but it is
    a real story so, we have to live with that embellished portrayal of
    Maria Altman memoir polished by Hollywood. But I still have my doubts
    on Ryan Reynolds’s character, the most of the time jobless lawyer who
    defies financial conundrum and judicial barriers with relative ease for
    a so called novice, adequately supporting his family and life while
    being dedicated to a long and expensive endeavor he does not know will
    pay out. And that was annoying to digest.

  • capone666June 29, 2015Reply

    The Vidiot Reviews…

    Woman in Gold

    The worst thing about growing old is everyone starts to dispute that
    it’s you in all of your portraits.

    Facial recognition, however, isn’t imperative in this drama – proof of
    ownership is.

    Made aware of the fact that the portrait of her aunt that was stolen by
    the Nazis is now hanging in an Austrian gallery, Maria Altmann (Helen
    Mirren) hires an inexperienced lawyer, Randy Schoenberg (Ryan
    Reynolds), to repossess it for her.

    With assistance from a journalist (Daniel Brühl), they challenge
    Austria’s ownership of Gustav Klimt’s The Woman in Gold in court, but
    turn up short each time.

    It’s not until they contest proprietorship on US soil do they see
    results.

    An intriguing and inspiring true account of retribution, Woman in Gold
    may lag with numerous wartime flashbacks but the outcome is still an
    edifying one.

    Unfortunately, the Nazis vandalized Woman in Gold by painting a Hitler
    moustache on her.

    Green Light

    vidiotreviews.blogspot.ca

  • Tony Heck ([email protected])July 3, 2015Reply

    This is a movie that words can’t do justice to. All I have to say is watch this, you won’t be disappointed.

    ”I have to do what I can to keep the memories alive because people
    never forget, especially the young.” Maria Altmann, (Mirren) has just
    lost her sister and after looking through her things she finds a letter
    that tells her the famous painting in Austria called the Woman in Gold
    has been left to her. She hires lawyer Randol (Reynolds) to help her
    get it back. What should be an easy thing becomes more and more
    difficult as Maria and Randol take on the Supreme Court and the entire
    country of Austria in the quest to return what Maria believes is
    rightfully hers. I wasn’t that excited to watch this one, but that is
    because I don’t usually watch previews before I see the movie. All that
    said this is one of the best movies I have seen in awhile. I love court
    room dramas, and while this isn’t a straight court room movie, it had
    enough of that aspect to keep me intrigued. This is also a true story
    which I also love. Mirren and Reynolds play off each other great and
    the chemistry really helps the movie. I know nothing about this actual
    case so the entire movie left me wanting to know more. This is a movie
    that words can’t do justice to. All I have to say is watch this, you
    won’t be disappointed. I highly recommend this. Overall, simply just a
    great movie that I can’t say enough about. I give this an A.

  • lviv_1256July 6, 2015Reply

    Mediocre with Elements of Greatness!

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Gino CoxJuly 7, 2015Reply

    Visually stunning, but overplays emotional aspects at expense of other elements

    ”Woman in Gold” is visually stunning and brilliantly performed. It is
    much better than suggested by its trailer. Production values are
    superb. However, it is still a bit disappointing.

    At one point in ”Woman in Gold,” an Austrian citizen confronts Mirren’s
    Altmann character and asks why you (Jewish) people can’t forget the
    past, commenting, ”Not everything is about the Holocaust.” The comment
    is cynical, as the Austrian people personified by the character oppose
    Altmann because they want to celebrate and admire a painting stolen
    from her family that became part of Austrian heritage in the minds of
    many. As it relates to Maria Altmann, the statement is cruel,
    insensitive and unfair; however, one might direct a similar comment to
    the producers of the film.

    It is a story with many facets. Her husband Fritz was imprisoned at
    Dachau to compel his brother to transfer a business to the Nazis. There
    is quite a story behind the sweater that Altmann is seen folding at her
    shop. Obviously, the filmmakers had to make choices as to what to
    include. They chose to put a lot of emphasis on the theme of
    rediscovering one’s heritage. The Austrians consider the disputed
    paintings part of their national heritage. Altmann turned her back on
    Austria and swore never to return. Schoenberg gets in touch with his
    Jewish and Austrian heritage. Much of this story is told in flashbacks
    to the Nazi annexation of Austria in 1938. It’s beautifully
    photographed and superb filmmaking, but we’ve seen it all before in
    ”Schindler’s List,” ”The Diary of Anne Frank,” ”Life is Beautiful” and
    dozens of other films.

    By devoting what seems like half the running time to historical scenes,
    the filmmakers tell one story effectively, but ignore unique aspects of
    the current story. I would have liked to see more of Shoenberg’s story.
    I’d like to have seen him fail at his own firm and know what he did at
    Bergen Brown Sherman – what did he sacrifice to represent Altmann? What
    happened to the necklace and other things stolen from the Bloch-Bauers?
    The legal battle raised several intriguing issues, but the court scenes
    presented primarily emotional appeals to justice and equity, not legal
    arguments. If Lauder was willing to underwrite the cost of the legal
    battle and interested enough in the painting to pay a record $135MM at
    auction, why did he abandon negotiations with Altmann so easily?

    The historical scenes were well done, but they crowded out other
    material that might have been more interesting.

    Although the two central Jewish characters were both played by
    gentiles, the film has a very pro-Semitic slant that was distracting at
    times. The Jewish characters are intelligent, astute, cultured,
    multi-lingual, industrious, talented, successful, devoted to their
    families, patient, clever, world renown, etc., etc., etc. The Austrian
    gentiles are generally spiteful, anti-Semitic, duplicitous, uncultured,
    bureaucratic, unsympathetic, boorish Nazi sympathizers and unscrupulous
    thieves.

  • Desertman84July 9, 2015Reply

    A Thought Provoking And Emotional Film About Art Restitution

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • lowodourinkJuly 9, 2015Reply

    What a misrepresentation of Austria

    I live in Vienna and I’m an Austrian and I couldn’t bear seeing this
    movie. 90% of the ”Austrian” cast are actually German actors and the
    acting in the German scenes is mostly really really bad. This probably
    goes unnoticed for non native people, but together with all the cliché
    locations the whole thing seems overly staged and like a total
    misrepresentation of Austria in a way that is almost offensive. I
    didn’t watch the movie to the end, as I found the script to be quite
    boring and relying mostly on flashback scenes and many times miserably
    acted dialogue. When the ”Austrian illusion” falls away, then I guess
    there’s really not much left that’s cinematic or worth watching about
    this movie.

  • phd_travelJuly 10, 2015Reply

    A must see – moving and engrossing

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Johan DondokambeyJuly 10, 2015Reply

    Great emotion play

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Ketan GuptaJuly 11, 2015Reply

    Woman In Gold is definitely a solid film with electrifying performances

    Biopics are treat to eyes as it represents true incidents of a person
    portrayed on the silver screen. Woman in Gold follows the same trend.
    It is thoroughly captivating and fun to watch.

    Woman tells the story of two people Maria Altmann – a Jewish refugee,
    who fights with Austrian government for a painting which she believes
    belongs to her ancestor and Randol Schoenberg who support Maria against
    all odds.

    Simon Curtis, who previously directed My Week With Marlyn, rightfully
    chooses a niche subject but does well as a storyteller. He keeps
    audience engaged with each sequence in the film as the drama unfolds. I
    loved the flashback story portraying beautiful family of Maria Altmann.
    The screenplay will test your patience as movie does take time to build
    on you. As the main drama unfolds in the court begins, the movie takes
    an interesting turn and will definitely keep you tight till the end.
    Dialogues are worthy. Art direction is nice. Cinematography is good.
    Editing is crispy. The chemistry between Ryan Renolds and Helen Mirren
    is astounding and brilliant actors will mesmerize the audience with
    their heart-winning performances. Helen Mirren as usual is dependable.
    She is fiery as woman demanding her rights and emotional when she wins.
    Kudos to her brilliant portrayal of Maria Altmann. Ryan Reynolds takes
    you by surprise as a lawyer who believes himself and does what is
    right.

    On the whole, Woman In Gold is definitely a solid film with
    electrifying performances. Excellent 4/5

  • duanetuckerJuly 11, 2015Reply

    Wonderful, deeply moving, and best of all TRUE !

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Marian20July 12, 2015Reply

    It Fell Short Of Becoming A Great Film

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Lee Eisenberg ([email protected])July 13, 2015Reply

    to love art is to love life

    During their occupation of Europe, the Nazis looted countless
    paintings. The paintings’ rightful owners later spent years trying to
    reclaim them. A famous case was that of Maria Altmann, the daughter of
    a wealthy Jewish family in Vienna. Gustav Klimt painted a portrait of
    her aunt Adele, and the Nazis seized the painting after taking over
    Austria. Altmann’s quest to reclaim the painting turned into a
    tug-of-war between the US and Austria in the late 1990s and early
    2000s.

    Simon Curtis’s ”Woman in Gold” tells this story, starring Helen Mirren
    as Altmann and Ryan Reynolds as her lawyer. Part of what we see is how
    the lawyer – whose superiors at the law firm are REAL jerks – starts
    out isolated from his family history, but the trial reconnects him. I
    didn’t even know about this story until the movie got released.

    Does the movie have any downside? Well, it’s likely that Altmann’s
    family made their wealth by paying slave wages, and the movie never
    addresses this. Of course, Hitler used the Jews’ economic success to
    depict the Jews as money-grubbers, so this might not be the best place
    to address it.

    Overall, I recommend the movie. This is a part of history that no one
    should ever forget.

  • firefalcoln-927-427092July 13, 2015Reply

    Great writing, acting, and execution

    This movie seems very underrated overall. I think it deserves somewhere
    near an 8 on the overall ranking. The acting was great. Mirren was
    great like always, and Reynalds shined more than i thought possible.
    The editing was a strength for this movie with the exception of the
    very end which i thought could have been more succinct and joyous. The
    movie excelled at showing rather than telling, and the flashback scenes
    were both more numerous and powerful than i anticipated. They also were
    pieced together perfectly to intelligently enrich the main timeline.
    Also the movie provided some timely humor, some great educational
    information, some great role model characters, without being pandering.
    I expected to like this movie more than most people due to being so
    interesting in art, but I definitely would recommend the Woman in Gold
    to any friend of mine with confidence they would enjoy it.

  • debbiebrown-98508July 15, 2015Reply

    The Woman in Gold is Golden

    I wasn’t able to see this movie when it hit the theaters but knew the
    reviews weren’t good. Recently I watched it on DVD. My first comment is
    to the critics:”What were you thinking?” Then I remembered this the
    same group of people who recommended The Hurt Locker and Foxcatcher.

    This is an excellent movie. Maybe I’m a little bias because I’m a huge
    Helen Mirren fan (I’d pay to watch her read the phone book).Beyond
    that, this is a beautifully constructed movie that artfully blends past
    and present into a compelling David vs. Goliath story. It’s climax
    reminds me of the ending of Field of Dreams. I won’t spoil the ending
    for anyone who hasn’t seen it but when you realize why Maria fought for
    her family’s legacy it has the same emotional impact as when Kevin
    Costner realizes that his entire journey was to reconnect with his
    father

    I highly recommend this movie. Critics are dumb.

  • westsideschlJuly 17, 2015Reply

    Helen for Academy Award

    Synopsis: Docudrama based on one example (the story surrounding Maria
    Altmann) of WWII era Nazi German confiscation (or theft) of property
    owned by Jews. In this case her effort as an American with Austrian
    roots along with her lawyer who also happened to have Austrian roots in
    challenging the Austrian government over the rights to some Klimt art,
    most notably ”Woman in Gold”, which was once owned by members of her
    family one of whom was the subject for that painting. Highlights: Well
    written film – intelligent, funny, props, settings camera work and
    dramatic flow to the story; all engaging. Albeit, a little too good
    guy/bad guy glossified. The highest highlight belongs to Helen Mirren
    who was a spot-on naturally funny, sagacious, sarcastic (in a good
    way), sympathetic character. An aside political comment: Liberal Jews
    would probably agree with me that Israel’s restrictive reservation
    treatment of the Palestinians in some ways mirrors Jewish history. What
    took place in the film is, in a different way, taking place today.

  • magical-kingdomJuly 18, 2015Reply

    ”Woman in Gold” amazing based on true story

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • lasttimeisawJuly 18, 2015Reply

    an uninspired hack job with an industrially designed wrapping can appeal to the lowest common denominator

    The real story itself has every aspect to be an uplifting material for
    a big screen adaptation, the Republic of Austria v. Altmann case, the
    righteous Jewish octogenarian Maria Altmann (Mirren) against the
    acquisitive Austrian government machinery, for the right of Gustav
    Klimt’s $135 million worth painting Woman in Gold, where Maria’s aunt
    Adele (Traue) is the said woman, and as a refugee fled from her
    homeland under the persecution of Nazis half a century ago, Maria has
    every right to get what belongs to her family and at the same time, to
    make peace with the mixed feeling towards her native land.

    But when $135 million is at stake, the story itself cannot dodge a
    cynic suspicion of how lofty the cause is, as Maria’s lawyer Randy
    Schoenberg (Reynolds), a fellow Austrian descendant, the grandson of
    the well-known composer Arnold Schoenberg, ruefully admits in the
    middle section of the movie to his wife Pam (Holmes), he takes on the
    case for the sake of money, only later he becomes a more persistent
    driving force for the case when his personal connection with the cause
    being vicariously activated through this tough journey. But for Maria,
    screenwriter Alexi Kaye Campbell doesn’t budge an inch on her
    integrity, although the aftermath is that the painting is
    geographically relocated from a museum in Vienna to another museum in
    New York City, while Maria earns a ginormous fortune by selling it,
    instead of keeping it as a personal treasure. No one should blame her
    since if that windfall befalls on any of us, we will most likely make
    the same decision under the circumstance, but a tangy odour of
    whitewash is frustrating and bothersome as a default blemish for the
    hagiography genre, not to mention a self-boosting chauvinism does’t
    help either.

    Overtly this film resembles another Dame star vehicle PHILOMENA (2013),
    both fare quite healthy in the box office, which means this sub-genre
    does have its potential ticket-buyers, but as a Weinstein project, I
    doubt WOMAN IN GOLD will have any weighty influence on the Oscar race
    like the Dench-Coogan pic. First of all, the odd pair of Mirren and
    Reynolds doesn’t register a tangible bond with humour and warmth which
    actually is so adroitly exerted by Dench and Coogan. Dame Mirren shines
    in a dignified impression which has no fault to pick albeit the
    character itself is flatter than we imagined. Reynolds acts up in
    several emotion-emancipating scenes, but overall, too hammy to take it
    in. Also, PHILOMENA is a more personal rite-of-passage of finding
    forgiveness in the most atrocious activity can ever incur on oneself,
    while WOMEN IN GOLD is more or less bordering on an ostentatious smash
    which panders to the audience stateside.

    One surprising discovery is Tatiana Maslany, who plays the young Maria,
    and the star of the cult show ORPHAN BLACK. She is the saving grace in
    my opinion and authentically a leading lady material, also Antje Traue
    is a stunner in this generically mass-catering flick, director Simon
    Curtis’ follow-up of his overvalued Oscar-player MY WEEK WITH MARILYN
    (2011) is acceptably on a par with his predecessor, it can woo you
    instantly on the garish face value, but afterwards, it is just an
    uninspired hack job with an industrially designed wrapping can appeal
    to the lowest common denominator.

  • gradyharpJuly 18, 2015Reply

    ‘They’ll never admit to what they did, because if they admit to one thing, they’ll have to admit to it all.’

    ‘I have to do what I can to keep these memories alive, because people
    forget-especially the young.’ Maria Altman. What a wonder of a film
    this is! Unfortunately it was released so early in the year that by the
    time the Academy Awards come ’round few will remember to place Helen
    Mirren’s name on the list of Best Actress nominees.

    Simon Curtis directs this near docudrama with a flair for genuine
    feeling, for art, for music, and for history. Written by Alexi Kaye
    Campbell and based on books and notes by both Maria Altman and E.
    Randol Schönberg the script rings true and while providing a fine story
    it also reminds us of the atrocities inflicted upon the world by
    Hitler’s Third Reich.

    The story is straight forward: the 80 year old Maria Altman (a radiant
    Dame Helen Mirren) engages a rookie young lawyer E. Randol Schönberg
    (finally an excellent acting role for Ryan Reynolds) who happens to be
    the grandson of the brilliant Austrian composer Arnold Schönberg to
    help her retrieve the painting ‘Adele’ (now simply known as ‘Woman in
    Gold’) – a Gustav Klimt painting belonging to her family and was stolen
    by the Nazis and is hanging in Austria’s Belvedere. Randy is married
    (Katie Holmes) and has a child and another on the way and finally gets
    a new job with a law firm, so he is loathe to accompany Maria on a trip
    to Austria in an attempt to restitute the theft of her aunt Adele. When
    Randy learns of the value of the painting together with the other Klimt
    paints that belong to Maria he joins her (with making money in time).
    Through a well developed relationship between Maria and Randy and a
    very fine series of flashbacks to the time when the Nazi’s were
    condemning Jews to death camps and stealing their property Randy and
    Maria ultimately triumph in what seems to be an impossible quest. In
    doing so Randy gains an appreciation for his background, his miraculous
    grandfather, and the realities of the Holocaust that is his heritage.

    In addition to Mirren and Reynolds the cast is consistently excellent –
    especially Daniel Brühl, Tatiana Maslany, Max Irons, Charles Dance,
    Elizabeth McGovern, Jonathan Pryce, Allan Corduner, Moritz Bleibtreu
    and all the others. The film also sensitively includes a performance of
    Arnold Schönberg’s string sextet Verklärte Nacht – another act of
    homage among the many this film makes to the Austrian Jews who escaped
    to America. It is an enriching experience, worthy of many awards. Grady
    Harp, July 15

  • witster18July 20, 2015Reply

    Good, could’ve been great.

    This is a good movie. Mirren is excellent, Reynolds passable, but
    overall a good film.

    Reynolds’ character is under-developed, and that takes away from the
    films overall impact. A little more family background on reynolds
    character would’ve gone a long way. Instead, we don’t feel the
    emotional implications concerning his ancestry, and some of those
    scenes just aren’t as effective as they could have been. Not the case
    with Mirren – her story is complete. This could have been Really good
    if reynolds character had been better developed.

    Otherwise,.. the film is excellent. I don’t know if we should blame the
    casting, the writing, or the performance, and i do normally like
    Reynolds. I don’t want it to sound like its a bad film, because it’s
    not. Quite good actually.

    The flashback scenes are excellent, the score is incredible, and the
    story itself is mesmerizing. Yet, it’s still just a ‘good’ film that
    stands a marginal chance at holding onto a top-25 for 2015 spot come
    next spring.

    U might like this if you liked: The Book Thief( a notch better),
    Sarah’s Key(actually not as good as WIG), The Queen(a bit better), or
    Escape From Sorbibor((better/great sleeper).

    69/100 Defo worth a rental. Soft 7

  • Steven TorreyJuly 24, 2015Reply

    A great movie about an interesting topic…

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Bob Rutzel ([email protected])July 25, 2015Reply

    Well Told and Suspenseful

    This is based upon a true story.

    Maria Altman (Helen Mirren) tries to get the painting – Woman in Gold-
    of her aunt Adele who was painted by Gustav Klimt back from the
    Austrian government. This painting, among others, was stolen by the
    Nazis and later ended up in Austria where the government treated the
    painting like ”their Mona Lisa” and do not want to give it up. Maria
    hires Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds) to be her lawyer.

    I really didn’t think this would be any good for me, but since there
    were no other action-hero movies (are you waiting for the
    Superman/Batman movie?) out there I indulged. When I first saw the
    painting – Woman in Gold – my breath left me and I was hooked. What a
    beautiful painting (ha, you just liked the gold).

    There are 2-stories in here. One in the present as we see Maria and
    Randy do everything they can to retrieve the painting including going
    to the U.S. Supreme Court and we also see flashbacks to the time Maria
    lived in Austria, where we see interactions with her aunt Adele (Antje
    Traue), her family, her wedding, the time the Nazis came in and took
    everything to her escape from the Nazis. Even though we know Maria
    escapes, we felt the tension and urgency as the Nazis chased her
    through the streets of Vienna. Whew! I was out of breath too. Good job.

    Both stories are extremely well done and suspenseful throughout as we
    are not sure what will happen next. We see Nazi cruelty and some scenes
    were hard to watch and then we see Maria and Randy continue to find
    legal loopholes to convince the Austrian government to return the
    paintings to Maria. We see that Maria wanted to give up the fight many
    times but Randy who had given up his job at a successful law firm knew
    he had to persevere as he was laying everything on the line.

    (so the Queen got her painting back?) The Queen wasn’t in this. (look
    she was, just because she dyed her hair she didn’t fool anyone. It was
    the Queen) No, it was Helen Mirren. (that woman again?)

    Listening to the legal arguments on both sides was an education in
    itself. The acting all around was excellent.

    Notables: Katie Holmes as Pam, Randy’s wife; Tatiana Maslany as the
    young adult Maria in Vienna; and Daniel Bruhl as Hubertus Czernin a
    journalist who helps Maria and Randy with local knowledge of the
    inner-workings of the Austrian government and of some officials.

    There is a resolution at the end of the movie, but stay before the
    credits run to learn more about what happened to Maria and Randy.
    (7/10)

    Violence: Yes. Sex: No. Nudity: No. Language: One F-bomb by Reynold’s
    character otherwise brief small stuff.

  • etiennestoriesJuly 27, 2015Reply

    A Stunning FIlme and a Must-See

    Warning; review contains spoilers The title of this stunning movie
    refers to a famous painting. Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (better
    known as The Woman in Gold) is a 1907 painting by Gustav Klimt. The
    first of two portraits Klimt painted of Bloch-Bauer, it has been
    referred to as the final and most fully representative work of his
    golden phase.

    Adele Bloch-Bauer (1881–1925) was a refined art-loving Viennese woman,
    a patron and close friend of Gustav Klimt The painting was among the
    thousands of valuable works of art stolen from Jewish families by the
    Nazis, and the movie details the true story of Maria Altmann’s struggle
    to regain possession of the painting. The subject of the painting was
    Altmann’s aunt, and Altman was present when Hitler’s Nazi thugs looted
    the artwork from the family home in Vienna.

    Helen Mirren gives yet another stunning performance as Maria Altmann,
    who, after the funeral of her sister discovers letters and papers in
    her sister’s effects that prompt her to begin her journey to recover
    the painting.

    Mirren is one of those rare actors and actresses who actually ”become”
    the role they’re portraying. Meryl Streep is another such actress. For
    example, when you watch a Tom Cruise movie, you’re always very much
    aware that you’re watching Tom Cruise at work. When you watch movies
    with actresses like Mirren and Streep in them the actresses become the
    character. They somehow have the ability to make you forget that you’re
    watching someone plying a role. Mirren was totally convincing as an
    aging, machine gun toting, spy in Reds, and she is totally convincing
    in this film, as well.

    Ryan Reynolds portrays the young lawyer who helped Maria Altmann
    recover her family property, and he showed in this film that he can be
    so much more than the sexy pretty boy he played in Green Lantern.

    During their attempts to recover the painting, the story of Altmann’s
    family, and her escape from Nazi-occupied Austria is told in a series
    of flashback, and we are reminded yet again of man’s inhumanity to man.

    Maria Altmann began her fight to recover the painting when she was 82
    years old, and she died in 2011 at the age of 94.

    At the risk of being repetitious, I will say it again, this was a
    stunning film. And a moving one.

  • estebangonzalez10July 28, 2015Reply

    Lifeless and dull

    ”If life is a race, you beat me to the finish. But if life is a boxing
    match, I’m the last one standing.”

    Based on true events, Woman in Gold is one of those films that ended up
    being far less interesting than the actual story it was trying to tell.
    If The Monuments Men failed to appeal to a wide audience I wonder what
    the producers of this film were thinking. It too centers on stolen
    artwork during the Second World War, but it takes us through the
    litigation process that Maria Altmann went through to try to regain
    what rightfully belonged to her family. At least The Monuments Men
    focused on a group of men trying to save famous artwork from being
    destroyed with a touch of comedy, but Woman in Gold is more of a
    dragged out drama with forced sentimentality. The general premise might
    be similar to that film, but in a way it also can be compared to
    Philomena considering the lead characters are played by an unlikely
    duo. In The Woman in Gold the pairing is between Helen Mirren and Ryan
    Reynolds. Reynolds is Randy Schoenberg, a young attorney who gets
    involved with a case that Maria Altmann (Mirren) presents him with.
    She’s a Jewish refugee with a wealthy Austrian background. When the
    Nazis occupied Austria she had to watch how all these valuable art
    pieces were taken away from her family by these soldiers. Among them
    was one of Gustav Klimt’s famous paintings, a portrait of her aunt
    known as Woman in Gold. Now almost have a century later she asks Randy
    to represent her and help her get the painting back which is held at an
    Austrian Museum. When Randy discovers the painting is worth more than
    one hundred million dollars, he doesn’t hesitate to help her and so
    their unlikely relationship takes off as does their difficult task.

    The chemistry between Reynolds and Mirren is solid, but I wouldn’t say
    it comes close to being as charming as Coogan and Dench were in
    Philomena. The pacing in this film was tedious and I found most of the
    dramatic moments manipulative and overly sentimental. As good as an
    actress Mirren is, she wasn’t given strong material to work with. She
    makes some witty and sassy remarks during a couple of confrontation
    scenes with some of the Austrian diplomats, but that is about it.
    Reynolds gets the look and the style of the 90’s spot on, but there
    wasn’t much to his character. I felt like this film worked basically as
    a timeline where we are introduced to important events, but we never
    really got to know these characters or how they related with one
    another. Fortunately the timeline wasn’t told in chronological order,
    we get several flashbacks to when Maria was a child and to when she was
    a young woman fleeing from the Nazi officials, so at least we get some
    parallel action scenes. I’d say that those flashbacks were the most
    entertaining part of the movie. Tatiana Maslany played the young Maria
    Altmann and she delivers the best performance in the film. There is a
    great scene where she and her husband are fleeing from the officials,
    but that was one of the only few scenes where I felt engaged with the
    film. The story is a fascinating one, but one that I would’ve been
    better off reading about considering the film only seemed interested in
    telling the story rather than letting us get to know the characters.

    Despite having a talented supporting cast, the screenplay by Alexi Kaye
    Campbell fails to give these characters any life. Take Katie Holmes for
    instance, who plays Randy’s wife. She is given nothing to do except
    play the role of the wife without any dimension whatsoever to her
    character. The film fails to explore these dynamics between the
    characters because it’s only interested in presenting the facts. Daniel
    Bruhl is also underused as he only seems to be in the film to remind
    Randy and Maria what a difficult task they are going to have despite
    the help he provides for them. The same can be said about the rest of
    the supporting cast including Max Irons, Charles Dance, and Jonathan
    Pryce. The film tries so hard to be about something important (mostly
    about being able to reconcile with the past) but Simon Curtis’s film is
    unfortunately so dull that it fails to do so. It doesn’t bring anything
    new to the familiar David versus Goliath tale and despite taking so
    much time to remind us what a difficult task this is going to be, the
    resolution seemed way too simple at the end. There are far better films
    that tackle the subject matter in a less manipulative way.

    http://estebueno10.blogspot.com/

  • Garvit NangiaJuly 30, 2015Reply

    The slow enchanting tale of Maria Altmann

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • bchan1218August 1, 2015Reply

    Wonderful

    What a beautiful movie. Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds did such a good
    job that we forgot we were watching a movie. The story was based on
    fact, the paintings were real and atrocious act of taking people’s
    belongings and lives by the Nazi’s was very real. The supporting cast
    was wonderful, young Maria looked like she and Mirren are related. The
    slipping back and forth added such realism to the film. It was joyous
    and horrible at the same time. Despite the subject matter this was a
    very uplifting film.

    My only complaint isn’t with the movie, but I should think it would be
    a concern to the producers of films that have subtitles (the film uses
    them for dialogue while in Austria). I do not understand the use of
    white letters of text upon a light background making reading of the
    dialogue so difficult. It may show up better on a large screen but it
    should be changed now that most people watch films at home. I am
    hearing impaired and use closed captioning, white letters in a black
    box. I wish subtitles could do the same, maybe in italics in a black
    box so they can be read by all.

  • Prismark10August 1, 2015Reply

    Not all golden

    Woman in Gold stars Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann a Jewish Austrian who
    fled to America. The artist Gustav Klimt painted her aunt who later
    became known as Woman in Gold. The painting along with others had been
    confiscated by the Nazis and later went on display at an Austrian
    museum.

    After her sister dies in the late 1990s, Maria living in LA seeks the
    help of a young lawyer Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds) whose family
    also fled Austria during the Jewish persecution to recover the
    paintings.

    Maria and Randol travel to Austria and discover the government and the
    museum are obstinate. As a journalist who befriends them (Daniel Bruhl)
    informs them that the authorities will put every hurdle in their path.

    When they return to America, Randol discovers that he could use a
    loophole to sue the museum in American soil and renews the legal
    battle.

    Woman in Gold is more than a courtroom thriller which has been
    condensed. However it is unfortunately cliché ridden film with little
    mystery or intrigue. It really could had been a made for television
    film but for its starry cast.

    The characters although real, are just cyphers there to develop the
    story. Neither Maria nor Randol felt like real people to me even though
    we get flashbacks of a young Maria in Nazi Austria and her attempts to
    flee the regime. In the modern day setting the museum officials and the
    Austrian officials are made to look like stereotypical bad guys wanting
    to keep the painting at any costs or in this case hoping to spin things
    out until the elderly Maria dies.

    The performances are earnest, the flashbacks give the film weight which
    the script really does not deserve and the direction was pedestrian.

  • olastensson13August 2, 2015Reply

    Art for art’s sake?

    You can of course ask yourself whether a woman in Los Angeles wanting
    her Gustaf Klimt painting back is interesting. Although it was stolen
    by the Nazis. This is however what this is about.

    Of course it’s not just about that. It’s about retroactive acceptance
    of one’s past, even if it’s evil. Like in the case of Austria. In this
    movie anyway.

    Helen Mirren never destroys anything, but one wonders a little why she
    takes part in something based on such a simple script. Including those
    Austrian museum officials, who are a little too square, really.
    Entertaining film, yes, but so completely doing the right movie the
    right way.

  • ashvinsinghbundhoo-1August 3, 2015Reply

    great movie!

    ‘woman in gold’ Everything about this movie is special and well
    thought. I came across this movie one evening and it has been a
    unexpected thrill of an experience. It deals with a delicate time
    period of history and the whole story grabs you from the very start. It
    is simply unlikely that anybody wouldn’t be moved by the vivid story
    telling and exquisite story the movie is about. Helen Mirren is
    actually the sole reason why I decided to watch this movie and it
    didn’t disappoint! In my opinion the actors did a great job in
    impersonating these complex characters and the story telling and
    editing is right on target. Well if you are a fan of great cinema,
    don’t hesitate to watch this movie and maybe just like me ..you will
    end up really enjoying it and you might become a big fan of Helen
    Mirren, a woman in gold.

  • Robert W. ([email protected])August 3, 2015Reply

    A ton of potential lost on a clumsy script and direction

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • hou-3August 6, 2015Reply

    Dull and obvious

    This is not a bad movie, it is just an awfully tedious and oh so
    predictable one. Helen Mirren does her formidable best to bring her
    character to life but regrettably she simply has no material to work
    with and the performance is formulaic. The intermingling of past and
    present is constantly irritating and while the spoken German is a brave
    attempt at authenticity – though Viennese it is not – it is also
    jarring. What really kills the movie however are two things, the
    absolutely clunky script and the mediocre direction. You know exactly
    what’s coming and how it’s going to arrive. Yawn, just more Nazi
    kitsch. Regrettably even Mirren can’t rescue this plodding effort

  • leonblackwoodAugust 9, 2015Reply

    Very basic with no thrills! 3/10

    Review: After watching half an hour of this film, I totally lost
    interest in the whole plot and I fell asleep a couple of times. It’s
    not that the performances were bad because I really liked Maria
    Altmann, played by Helen Mirren and the storyline was quite interesting
    but I just couldn’t get into it. Its about a Jewish lady called Maria
    Altmann who hires her friends son Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), to
    get back a painting which was stolen by the Nazis during World War II.
    Whilst searching for the evidence to prove that the famous Gustav Klimt
    painting of the her aunt was rightfully hers and that it didn’t belong
    in a Austrian gallery, the trail leads to Austria were they have to
    hunt through loads of documentation to retrieve the Austrian treasure.
    None of the Austrians want to help Maria because they truly believe
    that it belongs in there country, so after trying many methods to get
    there case heard, they end up back in American, disheartened by the
    results. With the determination of Randy, he finds a loophole in the
    law which makes him risk everything to get the case heard. When all of
    the evidence is eventually put in front of a judge, it turns into a
    court drama which could have had more depth, after watching over an
    hours worth of investigating. I did like the chemistry between Mirren
    and Reynolds but Reynolds didn’t seem like he was fully committed to
    the role. Mirren on the other hand, was brilliant and she really did
    make the film watchable even though I did drift off a couple of times.
    Anyway, I was hoping for a bit more from this film but it just turned
    out to be very basic and boring in parts. Average!

    Round-Up: At 70 years old, Mirren is definitely looking pretty
    impressive for her age and her performances seem to be getting better.
    She still has another 3 movies in the pipeline which include Trumbo
    starring Bryan Cranston and Eye in the Sky with Alan Rickman so she’s
    not ready to retire to live off of her pension just yet. Ryan Reynolds
    seems to dip in and out of comedic and action roles, from the Change Up
    to the Safe House and now he’s added drama with this movie. His next
    couple of movies, Captive and Self/Less are thrillers so he really is
    covering every genre in his career. I do enjoy watching these two
    actors but I really couldn’t get into this one. This is the second
    movie from director Simon Curtis who also brought you My Week With
    Marilyn, which I also didn’t enjoy. He usually makes TV series, which
    explains why I didn’t like the pace and the tone of this movie. In all,
    it is a watchable film, just because of Mirren but you are left feeling
    pretty empty because of the predictable storyline and straight laced
    script. On the plus side, it did make more than double its budget so
    there must have been audiences that were touched by the subject matter.

    Budget: $11million Worldwide Gross: $51million

    I recommend this movie to people who are into their emotional dramas
    about a woman whose trying to retrieve a painting which was stolen by
    the Nazis during World War II. 3/10

  • Gilberto De la GarzaAugust 9, 2015Reply

    Truly inspirational.

    In this film Helen Mirren plays Maria Altmann, an Austrian-American
    refugee during the WWII. The film tries to capture how hard was for
    this people to live during the era. We know that there are things that
    money can’t buy, things that are full with sentiments and memories that
    we find hard to be separate to them. It appears that in Maria’s case
    her family paintings, were that thing. I’ve always loved Hans Zimmer
    soundtracks, his music makes you feel the films on a much deeper way,
    in this case he joins Martin Phipps to create a very good soundtrack
    for this film. Films based on true events makes films to remember, but
    in order to truly enjoy this film, you must turn on the empathy switch
    and let yourself feel the pain of being forced to leave the things you
    love the most behind.

  • Gordon-11August 12, 2015Reply

    A triumphant journey

    This film tells the story of a old woman who moved to USA to escaped
    Nazi rule in Austria when she was young. She finds documentary proof in
    her late sister’s belongings that several priceless paintings are
    stolen from her family, and are now in the possession of a state
    museum.

    ”Woman in Gold” is a beautiful film because it’s a journey of three
    people working hard for a common goal for slightly different reasons.
    I’m impressed by the lawyer’s enthusiasm in taking up Maria’s case. He
    shows much dedication and professionalism. Maria’s goal to take back
    the paintings is to keep memories alive, which is very touching. The
    atmosphere of the film is kept quite serious but not sombre, which is
    not easy for a film about the persecution of Jews. Overall, I think
    this film portrays a triumphant journey, and is very touching.

  • Dillon HarrisAugust 12, 2015Reply

    Terrific Performances, Mediocre Story,

    Woman in Gold is a good movie with a well developed storyline and a
    great cast. It’s certainly an enjoyable movie and the highlight for me
    is without a doubt Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds, they’re an unlikely
    pair to put together, but they both shine in their roles and are the
    most powerful part of this film. The writing was a bit poor, the set up
    for this story seemed very interesting and I think it easily could have
    been an Oscar contender if it wasn’t for the way the narrative was
    told, I felt like it wasn’t taking these events seriously enough, for a
    movie in which the holocaust is an important subject, you would expect
    it to be much more dramatic and not so light hearted. The film needed
    more tension, there isn’t enough times where we feel a real sense of
    worry and loss from these characters, they seem to get their way very
    often and there is never really a time where all hope is lost, where we
    feel like they’re never going to achieve their goal, this is normally
    evident in movies and when it is absent it makes the ending a lot loss
    fulfilling. Woman in Gold may have several imperfections, but what it
    lacks in story it makes up for with terrific acting, certainly worth
    the watch if you ever see it on television or Netflix and are looking
    for a drama.

    A Jewish refugee works with a young lawyer in order to retrieve artwork
    she believes belongs to her.

    Best Performance: Helen Mirren Worst Performance: Katie Holmes

    If you have any recommendations on films/TV series I should watch or
    review,or any questions to ask me,just tweet me @DillonTheHarris

  • TxMikeAugust 14, 2015Reply

    Recovery of art stolen by Nazis, Mirren and Reynolds shine in this fact-based drama.

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Reno RanganSeptember 2, 2015Reply

    The fight for the Mona Lisa of Austria.

    Based on the true story of an elderly woman, Maria Atman, who attempt
    to reclaim her aunt’s portrait from the museum of her birthplace. Now
    she’s an old and American citizen, but after her sister’s death the
    possibilities favours her when she meets a young lawyer. So these two
    sets a journey on one focus, that is to reunite with the family’s art.
    How? That’s the story of this beautiful movie to tell.

    Well, the story was a very good one as inspired by the real, but looks
    a so simple drama as a film, even the twist and turns. Only if it would
    have been a better narration, at least in a few important portions, the
    awards would have been poured on it rather just praises. Anyhow Helen
    Mirren and Ryan Reynolds combo were excellent, but individually she
    ruled and he was a low key performance. Though the overall movie wins
    with the inspiring characters than the narration.

    The two different timeline stories edited into one random presentation.
    One is the past events and the other is the present that reveals
    simultaneously Maria’s struggles. Really, it was better than I thought,
    one of the best drama with the backdrop of the world war 2. Everyone
    can’t enjoy this flick, but certainly I feel I want to recommend it
    all.

    7/10

  • santiagocosmeSeptember 6, 2015Reply

    Nice story, decent film.

    I watched it, I payed attention to it, I wanted to know the outcome,
    but I never really got excited by this movie. Don’t get me wrong, it is
    more than watchable, I just found it a little slow and unstimulating
    even though the protagonists were fighting for a painting worth over
    $100 million.

    Maybe it was due to the annoying posh mannerisms of the lady, maybe the
    lawyer lacked real charisma, or it was the constant back and forth to
    the past filled with Nazi imagery (I am starting to get tired of
    Nazi/Jew related movies. There are just too many…) Or maybe, it’s
    just me who just felt unconnected with too many elements from this
    movie.

    In any case, I am aware that It’s a nice story to know, so even though
    my review is on the negative side, I kind of feel happy I didn’t waste
    my time on another offer.

  • diana-y-paulSeptember 6, 2015Reply

    ”Woman in Gold”–A Glimmer of Retribution

    The movie ”Woman In Gold” is based on the remarkable story of the
    octogenarian Austrian- American woman, Maria Altmann (played by the
    always sensational Helen Mirren). Maria fights to reclaim the Gustav
    Klimt masterpiece of her aunt Adele Bloch-Bauer, a wealthy art
    collector of Klimt paintings. ”Portrait of the Jewess Adele”. More
    popularly known as ”The Woman in Gold”, this masterpiece was the
    Austrian equivalent of the ”Mona Lisa”.

    ”Woman in Gold” is appealing on several levels: as history, narrative,
    and as emotional gratification that retribution does happen sometimes.
    Maria’s story is also a poignant one, of memory, family ties, and
    growing old. Highly recommended for a broad audience!Read the complete
    review at: http://www.unhealedwound.com

  • pxioanSeptember 7, 2015Reply

    Well, I expected more…

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Sergio EzequielSeptember 7, 2015Reply

    Direccion

    ”Woman in gold” is a film that I should not be overlooked , perhaps
    because of technical issues the film the movie does not reach the big
    prizes this year but undoubtedly is a beautiful film that grabs you and
    excited , if the movie would have been of foreign origin and not
    American undoubtedly would have had a place in the Oscar , Ryan
    Reynolds and Daniel Bruhl are two actors who are on track to great
    prizes , perhaps one of the best roles of Reynolds , Helen Mirren hope
    to see you in the big nominees this year , but this movie is good this
    time by the performance of the actors and the story that is expressed ,
    Simon Curtis could have been better .

  • manders_steveSeptember 11, 2015Reply

    Deft counterpoint of Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds triumphs

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • Trang LeSeptember 16, 2015Reply

    Good story to tell but not to show

    This is a great story that fails big on the big screen. The two main
    characters have a great deal of personal history and conflicts that I
    should care a great deal for them except that I didn’t when watching.
    There is not a moment of impact that can move me. Ryan Reynolds made me
    tired, he wore one face and one expression throughout the movie, so
    whenever not seeing him was some relieved moments though rare. And
    Helen Mirren was too wise, too snickering, too often for her own sake,
    she undermines whatever suffering she wants me to feel. There were many
    characters just happen to be there to fill the gaps, they made no sense
    whatsoever including his kid and his wife, the movie barreled through
    them like a big tractor down the freeway and left them no trace.
    Meaning: I don’t really care for any.

    I was happy to see Tom Schilling in the tiny role of the watching Nazi
    officer, he did light up the screen in this dull affair, why not using
    this magnificent actor for the main role I wonder. Suggestion: Go watch
    him in A Coffee in Berlin and see your life worth living at least for
    two hours than this American made trash.

    Woman in Gold tried mighty hard to pull audience through and beyond the
    canvas but it could not. It’s too weak and too lame, and left me
    dangling right there by the frame.

  • Peter Pluymers ([email protected])September 21, 2015Reply

    A beautiful,serene movie with outstanding acting by Helen Mirren.

    ”Mrs. Altmann, it would seem that if your case goes forward, world
    diplomacy will collapse, and you will be solely responsible.”

    ”Woman in Gold” is a wonderful and sometimes touching film. Not because
    of the topic as this was already highlighted in ”The Monuments Men”,
    but because of the brilliant rendition Helen Mirren is showing here. A
    role that suits her perfectly. A distinguished elderly lady who’s a
    descendant of a wealthy Jewish family and who was forced to flee to the
    United States during Austria’s annexation with Germany. She left behind
    everything: family, personal things and valuable belongings that were
    owned by the family Altmann. The resentment towards the German ruler
    obviously is still as lively now as it was in the past. And despite her
    intention never to set foot on Austrian soil again, she still makes the
    overseas trip to reclaim the famous painting ”Portrait of Adèle
    Bloch-Bauer” by Gustav Klimt, since she’s the rightful heir. That this
    invaluable piece of art was worth a fortune, is swept aside by her as
    irrelevant. In the end the painting has been sold to a renowned New
    York art gallery for a mere 135 million dollars. I’m sure at that
    moment it wasn’t irrelevant anymore.

    The film is actually twofold. Obviously there’s a less successful part
    and an exciting second part. The first part, and least successful, is
    about the court case Maria Altmann starts against the Austrian state,
    who consider the previous mentioned painting as a national treasure.
    The fact that it was stolen by the Nazis and actually ended up in their
    hands unlawfully, was a side issue apparently. So the first thing we
    are presented with, is an old fashioned courtroom drama with Ryan
    Reynolds as the young lawyer Randol Schönberg, grandson of the famous
    Austrian composer Arnold Schönberg and also descendant of a family of
    war refugees.

    The fascinating and interesting part of the film focuses on the past
    and present of the widow Altmann. A metered mixture of images of this
    zestful character these days and the painful memories weighing on her
    shoulders. These memories are displayed in old-fashioned-looking
    sepia-colored flashbacks. A sketch full of contrasts of the still
    traumatized Maria and the conditions in which she lived during the
    occupation. The humiliations and fear. When she gets back in Vienna
    after so many years, Mary’s facial expression proves that this past
    still weighs heavily on her.

    Helen Mirren is a kind of mixture of P. L. Travers and Queen Elizabeth.
    A lady behaving according to the etiquette from the upper middle class
    who keeps certain values and norms still alive. A stiff Victorian
    granny who suffers from a trauma and is seeking for justice. A kind of
    Miss Marple, but then still in possession of an elegant well-preserved
    beauty. Without any effort Mirren surpasses the young Reynold on
    screen. Despite his immense importance in the complex legal procedure,
    the character pales in comparison with the engaging, witty and
    sometimes tragic person performed by Mirren. Despite the fact that now
    and then she brings forward corny sounding quotes, she remains a
    credible and worthy character.

    Of course you can cite that the Austrian people are portrayed in a
    one-sided and caricatural way and look like an anti-Semitic nation that
    supports the Nazi-regime. Personally, I’m convinced that it’s pretty
    close to being true and that it’s more an instinctual survival tactic
    than that they were supporting that ideology. But that’s another
    discussion. Maybe the relationship between Maria Altmann and her aunt
    Adèle could have been worked out a bit deeper. But the acting of Mirren
    and the tragic images of the past create an unparalleled film filled
    with tragedy and justice.

    More reviews here : http://bit.ly/1KIdQMT

  • sddavis63 ([email protected])September 29, 2015Reply

    Good Blending Of A Contemporary Legal Battle With Reflections On History

    I wasn’t at all sure how interesting I would find this movie. It deals
    with an issue of importance. It’s about the fight for restitution – the
    fight to return to Holocaust families or their descendants works of art
    that were stolen by the Nazis in Austria and then never returned by
    future Austrian governments. In particular, it’s the story of Maria
    Altmann (played by Helen Mirren) – an aging woman whose parents
    perished in the Holocaust and who desperately wants back from a Vienna
    museum a portrait (dubbed the Woman in Gold) of her late aunt. To her,
    the painting represents a connection with her past and with her
    extended family and with happier times before the insanity of Nazism
    shattered so many lives. To the Austrian government, the painting is a
    piece of the national culture, and it’s extremely valuable. Engaging
    the services of a young American attorney (played by Ryan Reynolds) the
    movie shows us the fight for the painting in both US courts and with
    various Austrian officials and arbitrations.

    That is an important subject. People should have a right to what’s
    theirs, and surely the Austrian government shouldn’t want to keep that
    which was stolen by the Nazis? But, of course, as the movie alludes to,
    the Austrian government itself is less than open about the country’s
    Nazi history, and many Austrians just want such claims to be tossed
    aside. I have to say that while the movie certainly makes you
    sympathize with Maria’s battle, in truth I didn’t find the legal battle
    over the painting to be especially riveting. And yet, even if the
    primary storyline of the movie didn’t especially reel me in, the movie
    worked for me.

    What really worked well was the interspersing of Maria’s history
    throughout as flashbacks. We see the family in happy (pre-Nazi) times
    in Vienna, with Maria loved and cared for by her parents and by her
    aunt and uncle. We see the beginnings of the Nazi occupation and
    takeover and the growing anti-semitism of the country. We see Maria’s
    escape (with her husband) from a Gestapo officer as they make it out of
    the country and to the US, and we see the heart- wrenching good-bye
    that Maria shared with her parents, as her father made one request of
    her: remember us. That particular scene came near the end of the movie
    and it helped put everything else in context. This wasn’t about a
    painting. It was about honouring Maria’s past – those she loved and who
    loved her.

    This had the potential to be a sombre movie, and yet it didn’t become
    that, primarily thanks to the interplay between Mirren and Reynolds.
    They worked well together as a team, and there was often a humorous
    tinge to this very serious subject that made even the dryness (as I
    perceived it) of the legal battle over ownership of the painting to be
    easy to watch.

    Personally, I wouldn’t rank this as a masterpiece, but it’s a well done
    movie about a very important subject. (7/10)

  • JohnWellesSeptember 30, 2015Reply

    Far from Golden

    ”Woman in Gold” (2015), directed by Simon Curtis, is anchored by
    Mirren’s performance. She has the sharp, intelligent, quintessentially
    Austrian character of Maria Altmann down to the slightest mannerism,
    Mirren disappearing into her character. It’s to the credit of the
    script, by Alexi Kaye Campbell, that it creates a character so strongly
    delineated, as well as letting Mirren (who won an Academy Award for her
    performance in ”The Queen” (2006)) suggest the inner vulnerabilities
    which her tough exterior seeks to hide.

    If it’s a powerful, memorable performance, then it’s unfortunate that
    it outclasses the surrounding film. The material, tackling the
    important issue of the repatriation of art stolen by the Nazis, to
    their true owners, highlights the complex nature of modern-day Austrian
    society, still uncomfortable about its role in aiding Hitler during
    World War II. However, Curtis doesn’t seem up to the task. Previously
    having directed ”My Week with Marilyn” (2011), his treatment too often
    errs on the side of the predictable, bathing flashbacks to the
    Anschluss (the German annexation of Austria in 1939) in the now
    customary desaturated palette, providing a gloss on the past. Neither
    is there the hoped-for dynamism in handling the complex series of court
    cases that had to be fought against the Austrian government, both in
    Austria and the United States. The intricacies are glazed over in
    favour of dramatic speeches, although Ryan Reynolds as the lawyer is
    surprisingly good and manages to play the moments of humour early on in
    the film to maximum effect.

    There’s an extensive cast, including Daniel Brühl as a sympathetic
    Austrian journalist, Charles Dance enjoying himself as a brusque head
    of a law firm and Jonathan Pryce in one scene playing the Supreme
    Court’s Chief Justice, William Rehnquist, although Katie Holmes is
    given nothing to do as Reynolds’ wife.

    The film’s major flaw then, is its script, from which Curtis is tied
    to. There’s no insight into Klimt and the eponymous ”Woman in Gold”,
    Adele Bloch-Bauer I, is an exotic enigma, as flat as Klimt’s portrait
    of her. Shot in opalescent golds, in a literal cinematic transcription
    of her portrait, we never know who she is. Tethered to Mirren’s
    character childhood memories of her, her Austrian past is rendered as a
    simplistic golden era destroyed by the coming of Nazism. There’s no
    attempt to confront the existing anti-Semitism that was rife in Austria
    throughout the early 20th century, long before Hitler’s ascent to
    power; ultimately, the film sells the past short. It’s on steadier
    ground with Mirren and Reynolds grappling with the Austrian
    government’s attempts to frustrate their claims to Klimt’s masterpiece
    and these are the best portions of the film, perhaps as it focuses on
    Mirren and Reynolds, who have an undeniable screen chemistry. It’s
    thanks to their efforts that this film still remains worth viewing.

  • justbusinessthebookOctober 27, 2015Reply

    Failing, Again the Term ‘Justice’

    Okay, yes, this is a movie that I might buy, BUT I am left pondering if
    I should or would.

    Yes, it is well produced, enticing to watch and is a fairly (accurate?)
    portrayal of circumstances from our human history.

    But, the movie left me aching about the shallowness of ‘Hollywood’ when
    it comes to dealing with the word ‘justice’. IF you take the time to
    watch the bonus features that come with the DVD, the actors and
    producers pat themselves on the back for portraying another story where
    justice is actually served. At least, in the eyes of the rich from our
    society.

    Oh, so watch the movie. It is, mostly, worth the time for the scenery
    and the quality of acting. But then take some moments afterward to
    wonder why it is that we are so ‘feel good’ about human history that
    registers another lawyer whose first motive was not ‘justice’ but for
    the fact that he might make some big money after returning one
    painting, worth over ”$100 million”, back to its rightful owners.

    So, what. The real people in life took some of that money and donated
    it to charities and ‘holocaust memorials’? Answer me this.

    When do we get the movie that addresses this issue: ponder why it must
    only be multi-million paintings that equate ‘justice’ for too many in
    our society whilst we fail to ask how we ensure that the poor among us,
    today, gain real justice? WE forget the man, woman and child who was
    too poor to escape such things and whose teeth became the gold bricks
    that continue to tarnish this world of ‘the rich’ only being the ones
    to have a right to justice. Because they have ‘gold’.

    That is why I left watching this movie feeling despondent. When do WE
    stop building memorials to holocausts and start BUILDING institutions
    of democracy that are indeed FOR the poor, on the basis of ‘equal
    before and under the law’?

    That is a problem that Hollywood is too reluctant to address because it
    would challenge their own rich perceptions.

    So, watch the movie but watch it with open eyes to its ultimate
    hypocrisy: it is just another movie about the rich gaining the right to
    a word poor people are still denied, despite the lessons from what
    caused the events of ‘the Woman in Gold’ to transpire.

    And that is the saddest comment for our societies of 2015. This movie
    fails because it glitters with gold.

    Don MacAlpine, Wolseley, Saskatchewan, Canada

  • monstermayhem32October 28, 2015Reply

    a touching tale

    I will say that Helen Mirren seems to be one of those rare actress just
    like Meryl Streep that can make an average movie turn into something
    rather extraordinary. She plays Maria Altman an Austrian Jewish woman
    who was forced to flee her country and family with her husband Franz
    during the second world war. Maria is also dealing with the battle of
    the Austrian Art institute when she attempts to reclaiming a painting
    that belonged to her aunt that was nicknamed the Woman in Gold. With
    the help of her lawyer Randy, she attempts to get back the paintings
    that was rightfully hers and stolen from Nazis during the war. I would
    say that I would recommend this movie for fans who love history and
    art.

  • SnoopyStyleNovember 7, 2015Reply

    compelling story

    Maria Altman (Helen Mirren) loses her sister Luise and is left to take
    care of the family legacy. Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds) is a
    struggling lawyer heavily in debt after a failed upstart. They are both
    from famous Vienna families and share losses to the Nazis. He
    reluctantly meets Maria as a favor to his mother. Maria had lost many
    in her family and most of their possessions. The most prominent is a
    picture of her aunt painted by Klimt worth over $100 million.

    This is a compelling story with Helen Mirren going great work once
    again. I love that neither leads are that driven to get restitution.
    She’s reluctant to go back to Austria and he’s in it more for the money
    in the beginning. They are true underdogs. Tatiana Maslany is also
    impressive as the younger Maria. Ryan Reynolds is a little flat at the
    beginning and he shouldn’t joke around in the later sections. He may
    not be a great fit for the character. The story is very compelling and
    intriguing. There are usually differences from the real story. The only
    one that irked me a little is the discussion of money. In the
    beginning, Maria claims she’s not selling the painting making it more
    of a principle of justice. In the end, she obviously sold some of the
    paintings. I don’t have a problem with selling but the film shouldn’t
    suggest that it’s not about the money.

  • airxson-86308November 21, 2015Reply

    Not worth it

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • blanche-2November 22, 2015Reply

    The real woman in gold

    Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds star in ”Woman in Gold” from 2015, a
    true story about the quest of Maria Altmann to recover art stolen from
    her family by the Nazis in Vienna, the seat of anti-Semitism in Europe.

    I just want to point out, to answer some of the reviews, that this is
    not a documentary, it’s a movie. Movies combine events, change them
    around, omit them. No one wants to watch a tedious film that recognizes
    that it took a huge amount of time to get to the Supreme Court. If you
    want the actual, factual story of Maria Altmann’s journey, you will
    need to read about it or see one of several documentaries. Films are
    meant to pique our interest.

    Altmann speaks with a young attorney, Randy Shoenberg, about recovering
    The Woman in Gold, a painting by Klimt that is considered a symbol of
    Vienna. Klimt in fact painted a series of stunning portraits of
    Altmann’s aunt, Adele Bloch-Bauer, who died of meningitis at the age of
    44.

    In her will, she asked her husband Ferdinand, who had seen the writing
    on the wall in Vienna and fled to Prague, to donate the paintings to
    the Austrian State Gallery.

    Although he has just started a new job, Shoenberg travels to Vienna to
    see the will. Along the way there are flashbacks of Vienna in the ’30s,
    where the Bloch-Bauer family lived in opulence. When the Nazis came to
    their home, they stripped the place of everything valuable – and there
    was a lot — and put the family under house arrest.

    Maria and her husband, an opera singer, manage to escape in a harrowing
    scene. In flashbacks, Maria is played by the remarkable Tatiana
    Maslany, the star of ”Orphan Black,” who looks incredibly like a
    brunette Mirren.

    This is a touching, beautifully told story of one man’s sacrifice and
    determination and a woman facing up to her past in order to seek
    justice.

    Helen Mirren is one of my favorite actresses – here, she is a vibrant,
    energetic octogenarian who finds the struggle for the painting
    uncomfortable – several times, meeting a roadblock, she is ready to
    wash her hands of it, but Schoenberg won’t let her. It represents her
    family to her, and some uncomfortable memories. You can see all of that
    in Mirren’s multilayered performance.

    Reynolds is excellent as a young man who believes in taking a chance –
    – he started and failed in his own law practice – and in this case,
    going for the gold, despite the fact that he has a wife (Katie Holmes),
    a baby, and one on the way, and an intolerant boss. It doesn’t faze him
    and when Maria wants to quit, he is furious.

    I disagree that there was no connection between them. In fact, there is
    a deep one. The quest for the painting comes to represent to him what
    it means to Maria

    I highly recommend this film. There are tons of movies about the
    horrors perpetrated on Jews by the Nazis. The recovery of stolen art is
    one part of that horror. ”You see a painting,” she tells a group. ”I
    see my aunt.”

  • HorrorliefhebberDecember 5, 2015Reply

    Woman in Gold

    -Woman in Gold is a 2015 British drama film directed by Simon Curtis
    and written by Alexi Kaye Campbell. The film stars Helen Mirren, Ryan
    Reynolds, Daniel Brühl, Katie Holmes, Tatiana Maslany, Max Irons,
    Charles Dance, Elizabeth McGovern, and Jonathan Pryce. -The film is
    based on the true story of the late Maria Altmann, an elderly Jewish
    refugee living in Cheviot Hills, Los Angeles, who, together with her
    young lawyer, Randy Schoenberg, fought the government of Austria for
    almost a decade to reclaim Gustav Klimt’s iconic painting of her aunt,
    Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, which was stolen from her relatives by
    the Nazis in Vienna just prior to World War II. Altmann took her legal
    battle all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States, which
    ruled on the case Republic of Austria v. Altmann (2004). -The film was
    screened in the Berlinale Special Galas section of the 65th Berlin
    International Film Festival.

    –Critical response:

    -Woman in Gold received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes
    the film had a rating of 53%, based on 120 reviews, with an average
    rating of 6/10. The site’s critical consensus reads, ”Woman in Gold
    benefits from its talented leads, but strong work from Helen Mirren and
    Ryan Reynolds isn’t enough to overpower a disappointingly dull
    treatment of a fascinating true story.” On Metacritic, which assigns a
    normalized rating, the film has a score of 51 out of 100, based on 31
    critics, indicating ”mixed or average reviews”.

    –Historical accuracy:

    -Film critics in Austria and Germany noted various deviations of the
    film from historical reality. Olga Kronsteiner from the Austrian daily
    Der Standard wrote that, contrary to the film, it was not Maria
    Altmann’s lawyer, Randol Schönberg, who researched and initiated the
    restitution case, but Austrian journalist Hubertus Czernin, who had
    worked on a number of restitution files at the time, who found the
    decisive documents and subsequently informed Maria Altmann. -Hubertus
    Czernin, who is depicted in the movie, is suggested to have been
    motivated by the fact that his father had been a member of the Nazi
    Party; but Stefan Grissemann from Austrian weekly Profil pointed out
    that his father’s party membership was not known to Czernin until 2006,
    long after he had started to work on this and other restitution cases;
    and that in addition Czernin’s father was imprisoned by the Nazis late
    in the war for high treason. -Thomas Trenkler from the Viennese daily
    Kurier criticized the film’s reference to a time limit for restitution
    claims in Austria, writing that there has never been such a time limit.
    He also wrote that his least favorite scene in the film was when Maria
    Altmann leaves her ailing father in Vienna in 1938. Despite the
    imminent danger, Maria Altmann stayed in Vienna, having said, ”I would
    never have left my father! He died of natural causes in July 1938”.
    Only then did she and her husband escape from Vienna. -The movie ends
    with Altman agreeing to have the paintings on permanent display. But
    months after the Austrian government finally returned Ms. Altmann’s
    family’s heirlooms to her, she consigned the Klimts to the auction
    house Christie’s, to be sold on her behalf, fetching a total of over
    $327 million.

  • palavitsinisJanuary 5, 2016Reply

    Amazing – A punch to the stomach

    I think it’s the best movie I have seen this year! Helen Mirren was
    simply breathtaking! A movie filled with history and amazing scenes
    from the Nazi era in Austria, a movie filled with the sense of justice
    and the longing for making things right. Ryan Reynolds was up to the
    task, although I was kind of fearful of whether or not he would manage
    to stand beside this great lady.

    I enjoyed the flashbacks of the movie, and really sympathized with the
    drama of the Jews of Austria. An amazing movie coming in a time when
    the extreme parties around Europe are growing exponentially, to show us
    what really matters in the end and how the horrific actions of the
    Nazis have ruined the life of so many people.

    In the end of the movie, you feel moved, you feel complete and you feel
    warm in the inside. I think that any movie that can offer these three
    things, is absolutely a ”9” for me!

  • alindsay-alJanuary 12, 2016Reply

    An above average film that has drama

    I was interested in seeing this film because of the talent involved and
    the subject matter and this is an alright manager. The premise of the
    film sees a woman and a young lawyer attempt to retrieve a piece of
    stolen art from the Austrian government. Helen mirren is obviously one
    of the most iconic actresses ever and she is great in this film. She
    had allot of depth to her character and you really do care about her
    character in this film as she truly tries to do whats right. Ryan
    reynolds was really really good in this film and delivered a very
    surprising performance. He was funny but he was a complex character
    that definitely had dramatic qualities to him. Daniel bruhl and katie
    holmes are both good additions to this film even though there not in
    the film that much. The story of mirrens battle is interesting and as
    the film progresses it becomes more emotionally investing to both
    reynolds character and the audience. However, this film has allot of
    flashbacks that really just didn’t do anything for me and I feel like
    they were just in there to extend the run time of the film. The script
    had some good emotional moments and some well placed humour but I do
    feel like it was missing more power scenes and the flashbacks didn’t
    have very interesting dialogue at all. The style of this film is its
    biggest weakness, I know this film is based on a true story but the
    pacing is a big issue. It moves at breakneck speed at the beginning and
    slows down for the remainder of the film, hardly hitting the high
    heights that I wanted. Overall this is an above average film that if
    you’re interested in the subject matter then you should see it.

  • JulesecosseJanuary 13, 2016Reply

    Maslany and Mirren shine

    I thought that this was a very entertaining and informative film, which
    sets the scene naturally.

    It was not overly dramatised or forced and with excellent performances;
    particularly from Helen Mirren and Tatiana Maslany who played the same
    character at different ages perfectly in harmony with each other;
    showing how history can change people from youthful optimism to
    pragmatism and a wistfulness for a glorious past.

    History buffs will find it a fascinating foray into the glory of
    Vienna’s past. Though art stolen by Nazis is a theme recently explored
    by movies such as The Monuments Men, this part of the Second World War
    has not been really explored by the movie industry; I am sure there are
    more stories to come. There have been a few movies about Austria and
    the Third Reich, the Sound of Music springs to mind. This one compares
    favourably with both the aforementioned films.

  • lozzie1979January 23, 2016Reply

    Beautifully acted; haunting film. People should never forget what the Nazis did

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • kosmaspFebruary 11, 2016Reply

    Compelling and based on a true story

    Not always something people like to hear when they’re about to watch a
    movie. And often times things get exaggerated to keep a certain tension
    throughout. If you can’t wrap your head around those things, or are not
    too fond of predictable things that’ll happen one way or the other, you
    might want to steer away from this.

    But you’d be missing on a really touching story and performances that
    are really good. You can really feel the passion, but also all the
    other emotions the characters are going through (jumping through hoops
    would be an understatement). So while there shouldn’t be too much
    surprises along the way, the movie still is able to entertain

  • tikcufMarch 24, 2016Reply

    disappointing

    i hated this movie. the director and screenplay writer are primarily
    TV, rather than film veterans and this movie had all the elegance and
    refinement of a mediocre made for TV movie. The story itself, of an
    Austrian family whose art treasures were stolen by the Nazis in WWII,
    is extremely interesting and compelling, but this movie was an
    opportunity wasted. The usual elements that characterize TV movies –
    manipulative, cloying sentimentality, one dimensional characters, bad
    acting, and lack of subtlety were present in this film, (although the
    screenplay did a nice job of relating the legal background and
    historical events).

    Although Helen Mirren’s character, Maria Altmann, was portrayed as one
    dimensional, Mirren was spectacular and salvaged some element of
    redemption for the film, and some of the other performances were very
    good. The choice of Ryan Reynolds as the co-lead was curious, as he is
    not known for his dramatic depth. Not surprisingly (and despite the
    fake glasses and stooped posture), he was moribund and uninteresting to
    watch. Katie Holmes, as his wife, was atrocious.

    I could hardly wait for this movie to end.

  • Kris McCarthyMarch 30, 2016Reply

    Standing tear filled bravo

    What an emotional roller coaster.

    This movie touched on everything not just your heart strings. It
    touched on family, history, art, right and wrong, love, humor, and most
    of all just being a stubborn sassy lady. I loved it. Well casted and
    well written. I had no idea this was a true story and what a story it
    was. A story I know Randy (played by Ryan Reynolds) will be telling his
    children for generations to come. I have seen (not in person of course)
    the beautiful painting of the Woman in Gold, and now to hear the story
    behind her. The fact she was real and not just a figment of an artists
    mind. A real, living breathing person just makes it so much better.
    What a beautiful story, well done.

  • Sindre KaspersenApril 12, 2016Reply

    ”…authentic…”

    English producer and director Simon Curtis’ second feature film which
    was written by Greek screenwriter Alexi Kaye Campbell, is inspired by
    real events. It premiered in Germany, was shot on locations in England,
    the Republic of Austria and USA and is a UK production which was
    produced by producers David M. Thompson and Kris Thykier. It tells the
    story about an Austrian-American survivor of Jewish ancestry named
    Maria Victoria Bloch-Bauer Altmann (1916-2011).

    Distinctly and precisely directed by English filmmaker Simon Curtis,
    this quietly paced and somewhat fictional tale which is narrated mostly
    from the main characters’ viewpoints, draws a transitional portrayal of
    a human being’s last wishes. While notable for its atmospheric milieu
    depictions and distinct cinematography by Australian cinematographer
    Ross Emery, this dialog-driven and narrative-driven story about
    looting, pillaging, cultural legacy and a woman’s identity where a
    character utters the words: ”… where the past is asking something of
    the present.” which was made nine centuries after the House of Habsburg
    (1282-1780), eight centuries after University of Vienna (1365), five
    centuries after the English Renaissance Theatre (1562-1642), a French
    Madame Royale named Elisabeth of France (1602-1644) was born at the
    Palace of Fontainebleau in Seine-et-Marne, Paris in France, more than
    three centuries after the Burgtheater (1741), a Spanish municipality
    called the Town of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels (1781), an Austrian
    harpsichordist and fortepianist named Maria Anna Walburga Ignatia
    Mozart (1751-1829) received a letter (1791) from a German musician
    named Constanze Cäcilia Josepha Johanna Aloysia Weber (1762-1842),
    almost two centuries after University of Music and Performing Arts,
    Vienna (1817), the Viennese Democratic Women’s Association (1848), an
    American author who authored an essay called ”Woman in the Nineteenth
    Century” (1845) journeyed with her man to a city called Florence
    (1849), a double monarchy called the Austro-Hungarian Empire
    (1867-1918), the Imperial Elementary School Law (1869) in Austria, an
    Austrian advocate for women’s rights named Marianne Perger Hainisch
    (1839-1936) founded the Austrian Association of Female Teachers and
    Educators (1869), Austrian Parliament Building (1883),
    Maria-Theresien-Platz (1889), the General Austrian Women’s Association
    (1893), an Austrian physician named Gabriele Possanner (1869-1940)
    began practicing medicine (1897), Österreichische Galerie Belevedere
    (1903), a journal called International Women’s Suffrage News or Jus
    Suffragi (1906-1924) in Geneva, Switzerland, Portrait of Adele
    Bloch-Bauer I (1907) by an Austrian painter from Baumgarten, Vienna in
    the Austrian Empire (1804-1867) named Gustav Klimt (1862-1918), A
    Finnish painting of a law book, an eagle and the Maiden of Finland
    called ”The Attack” (1899), a Danish practitioner of law named Madame
    Henny Sophie Magnussen (1878-1937) became a lawyer in Denmark (1909),
    the Jewish League for Women’s Suffrage (1912) in London, England, more
    than a century after an Austrian-Jewish chairwoman of the Austrian
    Women’s Suffrage Committee (1906) named Ernestine Kisch Furth
    (1877-1946) signed a letter (1914) and ninety-nine years after a German
    essayist named Edith Stein (1891-1942) became a Doctor of Philosophy
    (1916).

    Made ninety-seven years after Lower Austria became a state (1918), the
    end of the Kingdom of Hungary (1000-1918), the First Georgian Republic
    (1918) and Freedom Square (1918) in Tbilisi, Georgia, ninety-six years
    after Austrian women were represented in the Austrian parliament
    (1919), an Austrian Licentiatus theologiae named Marianne Weisl Beth
    (1890-1984) became a Doctor of Law (1921), eighty-four years after
    ”Mädchen in Uniform” (1931) by an Austrian-Hungarian theater director
    named Leontine Sagan (1889-1974), seventy-nine years after a
    German-Jewish painter and civilian named Charlotte Salomon ¨
    (1917-1943) was admitted (1936) to the United State School for Fine and
    Applied Arts (1924-1939), seventy years after a radio station called
    Rot-Weiss-Rot (1945-1955) and the death marches from Stutthof
    concentration camp (1939-1945) in the Republic of Poland (1944-1952) a
    few years before Poland became a real satellite state (1947) where many
    women reached the Baltic Sea, some were relocated to Malmö, Sweden and
    the rescue of Stutthof victims in Denmark (1945), sixty-eight years
    after the Jewish Documentation Center (1947), sixty-six years after a
    street in Austria was named Käthe-Leichter-Gasse (1949), sixty years
    after the Austrian State Treaty (1955), forty-nine years after an
    Austrian MP named Grete Rehor (1910-1987) became the first minister of
    the Austrian government (1966), forty-seven years after the Theatres
    Act (1968) in the UK, forty-three years after an English civilian and
    member of a professional body of women called the Queen Mary’s Army
    Auxiliary Corps (1918-1920) in France named Ruby Adelina Ord said: ”We
    were not allowed to wear gloves because we might look like officers …”
    (1973), forty-one years after Mauthausen Museum (1975) in Upper
    Austria, thirty-six years after the Principle of Equality was initiated
    in Austria (1979), twenty- two years after the Prohibition Act (1947)
    was amended (1992) and Holocaust denial prohibited, seventeen years
    after the enactment of the Austrian Art Restitution Law (1998), the
    Austrian Constitutional Act (1998), the Children and Young Persons
    (Care and Protection) Act 1998 in New South Wales, Australia and the
    Crime and Disorder Act (1998) was granted Royal Assent in the UK,
    sixteen years after the release of a song called ”Lake Constance”
    (1999), eleven-years after a German harpist named Charlotte Balzereit
    became a member of the Vienna Philharmonic (2004) and the
    Gabriele-Possanner-Park (2004), six years after a voice sang: ”There
    are nine million bicycles in Beijing …” (2007) and seven years after
    the Chrystal Macmillan Building (2008) in Scotland, contains a great
    and timely score by composers Martin Phipps and Hans Zimmer.

    This historic and biographically measured retelling which is set in
    America and Austria in the early 20th and 21st century and where a U.S.
    attorney-at-law named represents a mother in a lingering civil case, is
    impelled and reinforced by its fragmented narrative structure, subtle
    character development, rhythmic continuity, comment by Maria: ”… there
    should be more women judges.” and the advanced acting performance by
    English actress Dame Helen Mirren. An authentic narrative feature.

  • krocheavApril 12, 2016Reply

    Compelling History

    ‘Woman in Gold’ makes for a dazzling movie experience (even if at times
    it may leave you questioning it’s authenticity). Having not been an
    admirer of Mirren’s early screen work – she seems to have become better
    with age (well, for me anyway), I was taken with her portrayal of Maria
    Altman from start to finish (as also in ‘The Queen’). Ryan Reynolds
    gives good support as the young Lawyer taking on a case above his
    station. Reynolds, whose style is somewhat reminiscent of a young Kevin
    Costner, plays the Randol Schoenberg part with conviction.

    London born director Simon Curtis gives the proceedings an easy to
    watch style and with the help of documentary editor Peter Lambert, they
    keep the viewer engaged throughout. Curtis also gets to direct his
    American wife (in a guest style role) Elizabeth McGovern, who has since
    made England her home. First time feature screenplay writer Alexi Kaye
    Campbell has fashioned an interesting interpretation of the writings of
    Altman and Schoeenberg’s own life experiences, looking back at yet
    another of humanity’s all time low past atrocities – although as
    mentioned, for some, certain sections of the screenplay may not always
    ring true (?)

    Cinematographer Ross Emery (Matrix) gets a chance to prove he’s also
    good without the help of tons of big budget CGI. It’s hard to tell who
    did what with the music score, credited to both Martin Phipps and Hans
    Zimmer but, it’s pleasing in an unobtrusive manor. Design Guru’s,
    Andrew Ackland-Snow and brothers Dominic and Giles Masters (Harry
    Potter) with the help of others, ensure it looks good – perhaps while
    also getting a chance to strut their stuff without being drenched in
    CGI.

    As a minor point, some location settings in Austria seemed a little too
    devoid of people to give an accurate representation, still, it’s an
    amazing human story, both informative and entertaining. It should
    please most sophisticated audiences, while letting us reflect on an
    episode from our dark past.

  • tomsviewApril 29, 2016Reply

    Worth its weight

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • robert-temple-1April 29, 2016Reply

    A brilliant telling of the harrowing true story of the Klimt painting

    This is one of the best-crafted cinematic accounts of a true story
    which I have seen. Director Simon Curtis proved earlier that he was a
    brilliant director with his MY WEEK WITH MARILYN (2011, see my review),
    and here he outdoes himself. He chose the perfect, and possibly the
    only, actress to portray Maria Altmann, whose heroic story of loss and
    retrieval this is. Helen Mirren is a famous British actress who is not
    entirely British. Her real name is Mironoff, because her father was a
    Russian exile. She therefore knows more about how to be a convincing
    foreigner than most actresses. The film is really the story of Gustav
    Klimt’s famous portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer, which is covered in gold
    leaf and is a work of art of the kind today described by the term
    ‘iconic’ (in this case, considering that the gold leaf somewhat
    resembles the solid gold riza of a sacred Russian icon, the term
    ‘iconic’ is for once less a product of trendy terminological innovation
    than an accurate description). Adele Bloch-Bauer was the aunt of Maria
    Altmann. They were a rich Jewish family in Vienna. Maria, her husband,
    and her sister fled Austria to escape the Nazis, and narrowly succeeded
    in reaching the safety of America, where they lived for the rest of
    their lives. The film shows both contemporary events and the events of
    the Viennese story, interweaved as Maria’s memories. The film is well
    constructed, with an excellent screenplay by Alexi Kaye Campbell (his
    first), who had the active assistance of E. Randol Schoenberg (Arnold
    Schoenberg’s grandson and also a refugee from Vienna) whose friendship
    with and assistance of Maria gives us the other major character in the
    story. Schoenberg is wonderfully played by Ryan Reynolds. The Nazis
    seized all of the possessions of Maria’s family including a Holbein and
    five Klimt paintings, of which the famous portrait was the main one.
    The five Klimts ended by a devious and circuitous route in a Viennese
    art museum, where the portrait became ‘iconic’ for the entire Austrian
    people, and was even considered to represent ‘the heart of the Austrian
    people’. Nothing could be more ironic than that, since the painting was
    of a Jewess, and no people anywhere in Europe welcomed Hitler with more
    enthusiasm and persecuted their Jews with greater energy and glee than
    the Austrians. I have often heard it said that Austria is still the
    most anti-Semitic country in the Western world. When Hitler entered
    Vienna in the Anschluss, there were delirious crowds shouting with joy
    lining all the streets, waving swastikas and practically fainting with
    joy. Hitler himself was an Austrian, not a German, it should be
    remembered, and his real surname was Schickelgrueber, as Hans Habe
    discovered when he got hold of a copy of Hitler’s birth certificate and
    fled Austria with it in his possession, with the Gestapo hot on his
    heels; the Hitlers were the family of Hitler’s mother, and they were a
    part-Jewish rustic Austrian country family. It has always seemed to me
    that Hitler’s fanatical determination to annihilate the ‘taint’ of the
    Jews was really a psychological projection, and was an outward
    manifestation of his manic desire to extirpate the ‘taint’ of his own
    Jewish blood. By destroying the Jews, he may have wished to destroy the
    Jew within himself, such being his crazed reasoning. (Goebbels also
    appears to have been part-Jewish, and certainly looked it.) The film
    shows very well the outrageous corruption, conspiracy and hypocrisy of
    the modern Austrian officials who try every trick in the book to
    prevent Maria from using the restitution law to reclaim the Klimt
    paintings, despite the clear proof that they are hers by right as the
    last remaining direct heir of the original owners. Her struggle against
    all the odds over many years is portrayed in the most graphic detail,
    and with considerable dramatic effect, Helen Mirren is of course
    magnificent as Maria. The film is deeply moving, and also consists of
    an excellent exposé of the Austrian mindset which Maria faced. The film
    is a genuine saga, gripping, tragic, sad, but also in the end
    triumphant. This is what is called ‘a very human story’, but it
    portrays inhumanity very well also, and not just that of the 1940s. The
    tale is a perfect example of how hard one has to struggle for justice
    against all the corrupt forces which prevail everywhere. There is even
    a scene where Maria has to go to the American Supreme Court as part of
    her struggle. But it is always worth the effort, for by such struggles
    we affirm our refusal to accept evil, and we must always oppose it, at
    whatever cost to ourselves. But that cost is often so high. For there
    is no easy way to oppose evil, and it cannot be done from an armchair.

  • Tim JohnsonMay 2, 2016Reply

    Brings reality to a strange historical episode

    Diane and I watched this superb film last night on CD; we both thought
    that it was meaningful and brought an interesting perspective on a
    situation that we knew about but had not seen it take shape as a film.
    This film brought substance to situations large and small that confront
    people on both sides of the political/social spectrum. Even the two of
    us living on the edge of the cultural world, have heard stories of the
    concern felt by people inhabiting dwellings throughout Western Europe
    who see cars moving slowly past their homes wondering if they lived in
    the home previously owned by Jews; the people in the car were their
    relatives and perhaps wanted it back. There are a huge number of
    stories that revolve around these circumstances, not just concerning
    houses but artefacts such as this movie define so well.

    This was a true story involving a very famous painting and the role
    played by Mirren and Reynolds was virtually perfect. Her role was
    enacted superbly in that she conveyed that anguish of not: wanting to
    return to Vienna, wishing to force an issue regarding the ownership of
    the painting and confronting old memories that had long-since been
    mentally buried.

    The script revolves around her attempt to access the painting and as
    such she is involved in myriad court cases in America as well as
    Austria. Reynolds is the lawyer that handles her case; the film also
    revolves around the legalism of her attempts to regain the picture.
    Therefore, the film has these two sides: the legal and the
    emotional/historic.

    I believe the Director did a marvellous job of taking the plot back to
    the original characters, as of 1938, when Anschluss joined Hitler’s
    Germany to Austria. It was a very good technique in that the viewer
    could get some idea of the time period when all of this activity took
    place. Everything about this film is without error and extremely timely
    and therefore should be sought out and viewed.

  • Lexi8888June 5, 2016Reply

    We cannot read the subtitles in the movie. WTH?

    Who in the heck is in charge of presenting the translation of the
    dialogue? First, you make it so small, then you make it white lettering
    on white background. As we all are squinting to read your little white
    text on the screen, you rapidly make sure that no one can read. Did
    anyone check this out before releasing????? ONE STAR!!!!!!!!!! Since
    IMDb only accepts 10 lines of written summary, I can only say that
    unless you are watching this in an environment where you control the
    speed in which the dialog (in foreign) can be read, do not bother. The
    movie was probably decent, but when you cannot read what is happening,
    there is not a change that the movie can be taken seriously. I could
    not be more displeased about this. I missed half of the movie!

  • edwagreenJune 8, 2016Reply

    ****

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • tex-42July 10, 2016Reply

    Helen Mirren Shines, Ryan Reynolds Flounces

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • snshJuly 11, 2016Reply

    Ruined

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • l_rawjalaurenceJuly 23, 2016Reply

    Familiar Tale not Without its Clichéd Elements, but Compelling Nonetheless

    WOMAN IN GOLD mines the apparently inexhaustible subject of Nazi
    atrocities during World War Two. This time it centers around Maria
    Altmann (Helen Mirren), an Austrian refugee forced to leave her
    homeland after the Anschluss of 1938, when Hitler’s troops invaded.
    They came in and stole many of the family’s treasures, including
    valuable paintings by Gustav Klimt. Three years later the paintings
    were given to the Belvedere Museum in Vienna, where they are still on
    display.

    After burrowing through long-lost paperwork, Maria and her companion,
    hotshot lawyer Randy Schönberg (Ryan Reynolds), the grandson of another
    refugee, the Austrian composer Arnold Schönberg, decide to take on the
    museum in an attempt to restore the paintings – especially the
    eponymous ”Woman in Gold” (a painting of Altmann’s aunt) to their
    rightful owner. There follows a series of courtroom battles, following
    the familiar trope of the little person taking on the institution.

    While Mirren offers us a convincing Austro-English accent, she is
    manifestly too young for the role (the real Altmann was in her eighties
    when she began efforts to pursue the Belvedere through the courts). At
    times it seems as if Mirren is offering us a reprise of her role in THE
    QUEEN (2006), right down to the sliver of lip-gloss on her otherwise
    pale features. Reynolds doesn’t have much to do except to put on a
    concerned expression, especially while trying to deal with his wife Pam
    (Katie Holmes), and stand up bravely in court against the apparently
    implacable attorney working for the Austrian government (Rolf Saxon).

    What redeems the film is its palpable seriousness of purpose.
    Production designer Jim Clay has worked hard to recreate the atmosphere
    in the immediate wake of the Anschluss, where cheering crowds of Hitler
    supporters are counterbalanced by antisemitic mobs keen to root out as
    many so-called ”enemies of the state” as possible. Most of the
    sequences taking place in the past are photographed in washed-out
    colors (by Ross Emery), that serve the symbolic function of suggesting
    how the Nazi occupation deprived what had been a multicultural society
    of much of its life-blood.

    Based on historical fact, the outcome can be easily discerned from
    about halfway through the film. Nonetheless director Curtis prompts us
    to reflect on the ethics of the entire campaign – although Maria
    deserves to have her family property restored to her, is the persistent
    campaign conducted on her behalf really worth it? What good does it do
    to rake up the past, especially the series of traumatic events leading
    up to and including her enforced flight from her homeland?

  • Luigi Di PillaSeptember 3, 2016Reply

    Better than expected

    It was a good choice after I have read all the positive critics here.
    This is a very emotional true story that is well told and never boring.
    There were good flashbacks where all the reconstructed scenes were
    originally and perfectly done. I felt to be in the movie. All the
    actors and especially Ryan Reynolds delivered a great job. Helen Mirren
    put as usual a special humor note into the ambiance. It seems this role
    is suited to her and nobody else. The music was wonderful and I had
    even some tears. This movie is much more better than the other ones
    about the stolen Jewish paintings from the Nazi. See it. 7/10

    If you like this genre of movie don’t miss The Pianist, Der Letzte Zug
    or Die Fälscher.

  • George WrightSeptember 9, 2016Reply

    A Fight to Reclaim Art Stolen by Nazis

    This movie brings together an unlikely cast of Helen Mirren, Ryan
    Reynolds and Daniel Bruhl in what I found to be a highly satisfying
    drama, based on a true story concerning a great work of art by painter
    Gustav Klimt from from early 20th century Venna. I have always admired
    Helen Mirren’s acting and I knew about Klimt from an exhibit at the
    National Gallery in Ottawa, some 15 years ago. We learn the background
    through a series of flashbacks that play through Mirren’s memory as
    Maria Altmann, the child of a highly cultured family in Vienna, who
    were targeted by the Nazis during the occupation of Austria in World
    War II. She lived through the Nazi reign of terror during which Jewish
    families were humiliated, their property stolen and eventually they
    were deported to death camps. (There is one highly-charged chase scene
    that took place on foot through streets, and dark passages that had me
    on the edge of my seat.) As an older woman living in Pasadena she
    becomes acquainted with a young lawyer who is also part of her extended
    family. Ryan Reynolds as Arnold Schoenberg is at first reluctant to
    take on a mission to recover a work of art; he is busy starting a
    career and family, when they meet. However, he becomes engrossed with
    Maria’s sister ”The Woman in Gold”, one of Klimt’s paintings and soon
    becomes the catalyst keeping Mirren focused on her goal of getting some
    justice done. Daniel Bruhl, as a young Austrian journalist trying to
    erase the stain of Austria’s flirtation with the Nazis, is their chief
    contact in the fight against a few arrogant elitists who seem to have
    learned nothing from their country’s history. All told, it was a great
    movie–entertaining and tragic both but lightened by touches of humour
    and an alliance among three different people trying to correct the
    evils of the past.

  • rogerdarlingtonSeptember 19, 2016Reply

    Another golden performance by Helen Mirren

    The lady in question is Adele Bloch-Bauer who was the subject of a
    magnificent painting, deploying lots of gold, by the Austrian artist
    Gustav Klimt. Following the Anschuss of 1938 when Germany took over
    Austria, this painting was one of many, many artefacts seized by the
    Nazis from Jewish families in occupied Europe.

    The film tells the story – a little fictionalised – of Adele’s niece
    Maria Altmann who escaped from Vienna to live in California and, during
    the 1980s as an octogenarian, pursued an audacious claim to take back
    this painting and other Klimt works from the Austrian Government. Helen
    Mirren is brilliant as Altmann in another distinguished performance in
    a sparkling career during which she has played everything from ”The
    Queen” to an assassin (RED”), while Ryan Reynolds is surprisingly good
    as her lawyer Randy Schoenberg in a role a million miles from ”Green
    Lantern” or ”Deadpool”.

    There’s a lot going on in this film: legal battles over the art work
    with some classic courtroom scenes, flashbacks (in sepia colours) to
    Altmann’s earlier life in 1930s Vienna, and an evolving relationship
    between the irascible Altmann and the idealistic Schoenberg, both
    descendants of famous Austrians. This is not the kind of film that was
    ever going to be a major box office draw but it is certainly worth a
    home viewing.

  • mike harrisOctober 4, 2016Reply

    Honors Those Who Went Before

    This movie powerfully portrays the importance of honoring our heritage.
    Woman in Gold gives voice to our ancestors. It shows that to the degree
    that we remember our roots and live in a way to honor our ancestors,
    then a link divine is forged which impacts us here and now and and
    sweetens the inevitable reunion on the other side. Remembering, simply
    remembering our fore-bearers creates an inheritance that exceeds gold.

    Deuteronomy 6:10-12 serves as a good summary of this movie:

    *Then it shall come about when the LORD your God brings you into the
    land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give
    you, great and splendid cities which you did not build, and houses full
    of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you
    did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you
    eat and are satisfied, then watch yourself, that you do not forget…*

  • mozziecatOctober 6, 2016Reply

    Fantastic Movie!

    After seeing the actually painting at the Neue Galerie in New York
    City, I wanted to see the movie behind it. I was not disappointed. Of
    course the acting is great, who doesn’t love Helen Mirren and Ryan
    Reynolds was a super huge surprise as well as Daniel Bruhl, but it is
    the story that captivates. As beautifully done as the painting is, the
    movie also takes you on a beautiful, sometimes intense, haunting ride
    through a very painful part of history. Going back and forth between
    the contemporary age where Maria Altmann is trying to recover what is
    rightfully hers to the past when the painting was stolen you gain an
    understanding of the pain and fear of the time. It is one I will
    purchase to watch again and again.

  • nottomanNovember 25, 2016Reply

    This really impacted me

    I watched the trailer and immediately was drawn to this for several
    reasons – namely Helen Mirren is one of my favorite actresses and I
    knew she would do well in this role, and also the fact that this was
    based on true events dealing with such an incredible part of our
    history that shouldn’t be forgotten. They story line was well laid out
    and kept me very invested through the entire movie, and I was surprised
    at how involved Ryan Reynolds becomes personally involved in the
    adventure. The history that was woven into the present day was
    absolutely top notch – magical. I was so affected after it was over –
    it really made me reflect on my heritage and about my posterity. I
    think everyone should watch this movie.

  • vincentgaDecember 3, 2016Reply

    This is just another propaganda film…

    About this film. I give it 0/10 This is just another propaganda film
    made by wealthy Jews. I have nothing against them but I am very tired
    to see that we mix money and holocaust. That we say rich people are
    better than other and have more value. That’s false and just rich can
    people who want to be one of their think like that. Probably at least
    95% of human think that, that money make human. Sorry for me it’s just
    big lie.

    And then they are not the only Jews the Nazis murdered during the
    Second World War.

    All other systems (capitalist, communist, fascist, monarchy, etc.)
    Invented by humans do the same but more subtly. More hypocritically.
    Take for example the capitalist (or democracy or other pompous name of
    the kind). In this system that claims to be just it takes money to have
    justice. You can do everything, even kill, but you need money. In this
    system with money one has access to all unimaginable health care, all
    the great schools, the best food, the best housing, and so on. By cons
    if you have no money and well die.

    Of course the Capitalists do not stop making propaganda (as this film
    makes it to justify having paintings without knowing how they were
    obtained at the beginning) using their favourite toy: The Television
    (”The Opium of the people ”).

    When you watch TV you get the impression that all people are rich and
    happy. It is only a minority. And there is not one rich man who is
    honest.

    Rich people ”give” a million for a ”work of charity” so as not to pay
    billions in taxes. Billions that go directly into tax havens. The laws
    are them.

    So it would have been interesting to know how the relatives of the
    film’s ”heroine” have become rich. Of course they will say because they
    worked hard, and so on. Well, most humans work hard and they are not
    rich.

    But just look at the rich today to understand the rich of the past. To
    look at the history that is happening before us today to understand the
    history of the past.

    And we realize that nothing has changed, that nothing will change. How
    many Capitalists have slaves worked in China, India and elsewhere in
    the ”poor” countries (led by bigger dictators) and who make money as is
    not imaginable.

    And we continue to say that these rich are good, and if we ever steal
    one of their paintings, we will make other films to show us how sad to
    be rich (so to be dishonest and thieves) steal.

    I have no respect for the rich whoever they are, whatever their race,
    their religion, the countries where they live. It is only Nazis who
    take themselves superior to others and who do everything to have more
    and more money.

    At the end of this film is said to have sold one of the paintings 123
    million. How is a work of art worth? Easy to answer: it’s worth what
    the rich are willing to pay to get it.

    If I had money and I bought the painting in question 1 billion and well
    its artistic value would be one billion. But this will not bring back
    the dead and human wickedness will continue to exist as long as human
    existence exists. Just like lies, avarice, dishonesty, pride,
    narcissism, egocentricity, and so on.

    The rich think to do good because they control everything and it is
    enough to think, that we are a God, to be. And if we are rich it is
    true that we are gods.

    The intelligence is not to mix Money with Holocaust. But all is good
    for misers to make money.

    Because few humans are rich they are like God, and 99% of people agree
    with that. Not me. No one has more value than other. NO ONE!

    How many jobs can be creating with 100 million? With 1 billion? With 1
    trillion? Rich don’t care about that. They want money, all money to put
    in tax heaven waiting other money from slaves. Government don’t exist.
    What exist is ”business men ”(all bandits) who ”work” for their
    friends, all rich, or other richer and make plan to make more money.

    Look the actual President. And Kennedy is a God! Money is the Power and
    the Power is the all the Thought of Humans.

    Quickly the robots arrive and they eliminate us. They will be truly
    intelligent and will be based on logic and not on money, lies, avarice,
    wickedness, and so on.

    It is sad to see that it is enough to talk about the Holocaust and the
    Jews so that all films of this kind have very high score here or other
    website. Like what money buys even the thoughts of most people

    When a rich man dies, this allows many who are not rich to live better.

  • HitchcocJanuary 12, 2017Reply

    A Fascinating Case–Movie a Bit Bland

    I have to say that I enjoyed this film, but mostly for the subject
    matter, a court case that took place in 1998. We have for some time
    been made aware again of the Nazi’s efforts to steal the great art of
    the world, particularly Western art. Movies like ”The Monument Men”
    depict efforts to recover what they stole from the heart of the world.
    For this they can never be forgiven. The majority of these pieces have
    never been found. Fortunately, many of the works were kept in museums
    or in private residences and so were intact. This is the story of a
    piece that became known as the Austrian Mona Lisa. Helen Mirren is
    Maria Altman whose family owned the great portrait known as the Woman
    in Gold. When she finds some letters that tell of the story of the
    painting, she enlists a young Randy Schoenberg, the grandson of the
    great composer, to make a case for the return of the painting to its
    rightful heirs. Predictably, they wade through all the roadblocks,
    assisted by a young Austrian journalist. I have to agree with the
    reviews that talk about the good guys and the bad guys. I love Austria,
    especially Vienna, but here they are portrayed so harshly that we have
    little sympathy for their position. Ryan Reynolds is a little short on
    effort here, sort of phoning it in. But there are enough twists and
    turns and Mirren is great fun to watch to make it well worthwhile. I
    plan on seeing how realistic the portrayal was.

  • tabunoFebruary 21, 2017Reply

    A Solid Historical Drama

    Credit must be given to the director, the writer, and Helen Mirren and
    Ryan Reynolds for making this somewhat obscure episode in recent
    history about reclaiming stolen art back to its rightful heirs into a
    an interesting and involving film experience. It’s hard to imagine how
    such a fictional plot could have been made better for its low key
    nature. Yet the personal trials, the international significance of the
    portrayals offered in this movie keep the movie compelling sustaining
    the emotive interest and the historical value for its viewers.

  • Scott-101February 23, 2017Reply

    A great film that fell through the cracks

    My original perception was that this was an indie flick that only
    played in the art houses because it was an artsy film. the truth is
    that it’s a great film that simply didn’t get the luck of the draw when
    it came with mass distribution. Woman in Gold would be at home with any
    of the Oscar nominees and contenders and would easily be considered
    more of an outright crowd pleaser than a film like Danish Girl (which
    got nominated in acting categories) or Brooklyn (which did make the
    final cut for Oscar).

    The film is based on an eight-year-long quest by a California-based
    lawyer of Austrian descent and a longtime family friend from the
    motherland (the prior relationship between the characters is erased in
    the adaptation process) to reclaim confiscated art by the Nazis.

    The film’s main strength is that it’s neither a holocaust story nor is
    it a standard courtroom drama, but it’s a fresh new take on both
    genres. As for the former, the film feels fresh through its specificity
    to the Austrian experience and the specificity of a wealthy family. The
    film is more relatable to the experience of anyone descended of an
    immigrant who had to leave the old regime. As for the latter, the
    film’s main challenge wasn’t showing a guy having his flashy day in
    court but rather a long slog as it was taking a toll on his life. The
    film handles this challenge in pacing admirably.

    More than that, the film flies on the strength of its central
    relationship. You never think of Ryan Reynolds (best known for
    subversive leading men or a smug action stars) and Helen Mirren as
    occupying the same universe but the chemistry between the two goes a
    long way towards making this film transformative.

    The film is a powerful one about remembrance and loss. It teaches that
    one can’t fix the past, but healing those wounds is a noble cause.

  • meeza ([email protected])April 2, 2017Reply

    I give it a Bronze!

    The true-story based drama ”Woman in Gold” did not deserve any gold
    medals, but was bronzely deserved as solid cinematic offering. Helen
    Mirren stars as Maria Altmann, an older woman who was a Jewish refugee
    in her homeland of Austria. Her aunt Adele Bloch-Bauer sang the
    original version of Adele’s ”Hello”; not even Lionel Richie sang it
    better! Hello! Hello! Are you still there? Please don’t say goodbye yet
    to my review of ”Woman in Gold”. In all seriousness, Adele Bloch- Bauer
    was the subject of an infamous painting during the 1940’s. However,
    that painting and much artwork of Maria’s family was seized by the
    Nazis in Germany-occupied Austria. During the late 1990’s after a few
    occurrences including a deep letter from her deceased aunt Adele, Maria
    decides that it’s time to get what is rightfully hers; most notably the
    startling ”Woman in Gold” painting, in that time displayed in an
    Austrian museum. So Maria hires a nice young Jewish lawyer named Randy
    Schoenberg, and their fight for art-recovery justice is in full plight
    as they tackle many obstacles, most notably the Austrian government, to
    recover to Maria what is rightfully hers. Director Simon Curtis does
    hold par in his orchestration of the picture, even though Simon says
    way too many times what is obvious. Alexi Kaye Campbell’s screenplay
    was moderate at best, but shined brightly within Maria’s charismatic
    dialogue. Helen Mirren did shine with a golden performance as Maria,
    and Ryan Reynolds deserved a silver-thespian medal with his work as
    Randy Schoenberg. ”Woman in Gold” does paint a pretty picture on art
    justice, and though not perfect, still deserves a look. *** Average

  • I lose any faith in professional critics

    As one or two other non-professional reviewers have said, I just don’t
    understand the many negative reviews from the professionals. As a Jew,
    I found the film totally gripping and beautifully done in every way.
    The film is grounded in the Holocaust and faithfully portrays the
    vicious treatment of Jews by the Austrian people as well as the Nazis.
    The later intransigent attitude of the Austrian authorities who will do
    anything to hang on to the stolen painting should come as no surprise.
    Austria has never admitted its culpability in the Nazi atrocities and
    never will, unlike Germany.I have substantial doubts about the
    sensitivity of these negative reviewers to the plight of the Jews at
    that time. Their childish complaint seems to be that the film isn’t
    exciting enough and is schmaltzy. I found it gripping and truthful.

  • James HitchcockMay 17, 2017Reply

    Worthy but Wordy

    The ”Woman in Gold” of the title is a painting, Gustav Klimt’s
    ”Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I”. (That Roman numeral was added to
    distinguish it from a second portrait of the same woman). Frau
    Bloch-Bauer was a beautiful young society lady from a wealthy Viennese
    Jewish family. She herself died in 1925, but the picture remained in
    the possession of her family until it was seized by the Nazis following
    the Anschluss of 1938. Klimt was not the Nazis’ favourite artist- he
    was too modernistic for Hitler’s ultra-conservative tastes- but he was
    not Jewish and was never officially condemned as ”degenerate”, so there
    was no ban on the public display of his art. In 1941 the painting was
    acquired by the Belvedere Gallery in Vienna where it hung for many
    years. (The Nazis were embarrassed by the fact that Klimt’s sitter had
    been Jewish, so the name of the painting was changed to ”Woman in
    Gold”). In 1998, however, Adele’s last surviving relative, her niece
    Maria Altmann, now living in Los Angeles, began a legal fight to
    recover the stolen painting.

    The Austrian government resisted the claim doggedly, basing their
    opposition on the fact that in her will Adele had expressed the wish
    that the painting should hang in the Belvedere. There were, however,
    two problems with their defence. The first was that Adele had wished
    that the picture should only go to the Belvedere after the death of her
    husband Ferdinand, who was still alive in 1941. The second, and more
    serious, objection was that the painting was not actually Adele’s to
    dispose of- it was legally Ferdinand’s property, not hers.

    The film is based on the true story of this legal battle, concentrating
    on the relationship between Maria and her young lawyer, Randy
    Schoenberg. The two had a lot in common, both being descended from the
    cultured, intellectual Jewish haute bourgeoisie of Vienna. They shared
    a love of music; Randy was the grandson of the famous composer, Arnold
    Schoenberg, and Maria’s late husband, Fritz, had been an opera singer.
    Intercut with the legal action are scenes showing Maria’s early life
    and her flight from Vienna to escape from the Nazis in 1938.

    I watched this film when it was recently shown in television, partly
    because I am an art lover and partly because of my respect for Helen
    Mirren, but in many way it proved a disappointment. Mirren as Maria
    Altmann was certainly good, as she normally is, but she was about the
    only good thing in this film. There have been many excellent films
    based upon court cases, but such courtroom dramas have nearly all been
    about criminal trials, focussing on conflicting evidence and dramatic
    scenes of cross-examination in the witness-box. Civil actions, which
    rely more on legal argument and precedents and which may not even
    involve any testimony from live witnesses, rarely make for such
    engrossing drama.

    The case of Republic of Austria v. Altmann does not prove an exception
    to the rule. The lengthy scenes of discussions and legal arguments are
    worthy but wordy, and the flashbacks to the 1930s (for some reason shot
    in a very dull, muted colour) do not provide much relief from the
    tedium. (We know from the beginning that Maria will survive, so there
    is little tension). The story of the wholesale looting of European art
    by the Nazis, of the legal fight for restitution and of the various
    moral issues involved is a potentially fascinating one; it deserved a
    better cinematic treatment than this. 5/10

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