What it's about:
Maria Altmann is a Jewish refugee forced to flee Vienna during World War II. Decades later, determined to salvage some dignity from her past, Maria has taken on a mission to reclaim a painting the Nazis stole from her family: the famous ‘Lady in Gold,’ a portrait of her beloved Aunt Adele. Partnering with an inexperienced but determined young lawyer, Maria embarks on an epic journey for justice 60 years in the making.
What we thought:
I'll be honest. When I was asked to watch Woman in Gold I wasn't too excited. I expected a boring arty filmed wrapped up in a history lesson.
But damn was I wrong! Woman in Gold is a hidden little gem of a film and undoubtedly worth the watch. Based on true events the film follows the story behind the iconic Klimt portrait and one woman's struggle to get back what's rightfully hers.
Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann, a Jewish refugee who takes on the Austrian government to recover the artwork, shines in her role. She skillfully balances the comical and dramatic and serves up a stunning performance like we’ve grown accustomed to.
Ryan Reynolds, as young and inexperienced lawyer Randol Schoenberg, also delivers a thoughtful and honest performance that combined with Mirren’s acting ensures that Woman in Gold isn’t just another typical BBC produced film.
With a strong emphasis on family and the importance of one’s heritage the film succeeds in entertaining the viewer while a typical David versus Goliath battle unfolds in the courtrooms.
For serious art fanatics and historians the film might lack depth and although this might be true to some extent it actually counts in its favour. Instead of becoming just another highbrow art film, Woman in Gold is much more accessible to the masses without compromising its integrity.
All in all the film shines and is well worth its weight in gold.