Media Item of the Month:
Woman in Gold
The film tells the true story of an elderly Jewish woman, Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), who is attempting to reclaim her heritage and seek justice for what happened to her family during the Nazi occupation.
The film opens in the late 1990s, when Austria was under pressure to examine its Nazi past, with Maria realizing she might have the opportunity to get back a painting commissioned by her uncle of her aunt and stolen from the family by the fascist regime. The painting, “Adele Bloch-Bauer I” or “Woman in Gold”, by world-famous Gustav Klimt is an elaborate and elegant portrait considered “the Mona Lisa of Austria”, and one the country will not be quick to relinquish.
Maria enlists the help of a friend’s son, Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), a young attorney, whose family also has Judeo-Austrian ancestry. Together the duo over the course of several years take on the Austrian government in a legal battle that takes them as high as the U.S. Supreme Court.
Mirren is superb and Reynolds surprisingly impressive as the plucky couple. Their chemistry is magic to watch as the tale unfolds.
The film includes not only courtroom battles, but also flashbacks to Maria’s youth and her flight from Austria. There is never a dull moment, and if you’re a fan of Klimt or interested in World War II history, you’ll find it especially entertaining.
Review written by Rebecca H.