|WOMAN IN GOLD (director: Simon Curtis; screenwriter: Alexi Kaye Campbell/ based on the life stories of E. Randol Schoenberg & Maria Altmann; cinematographer: Ross Emery; editor: Peter Lambert; music: Martin Phipps/Hans Zimmer; cast: Helen Mirren (Maria Altmann), Ryan Reynolds (Randy Schoenberg), Daniel Brühl (Hubertus Czernin), Katie Holmes (Pam Schoenberg), Tatiana Maslany (Young Maria Altman), Max Irons (Fritz Altmann), Charles Dance (Sherman), Antje Traue (Adele Bloch-Bauer), Elizabeth McGovern (Judge Florence Cooper), Jonathan Pryce (Chief Justice William Rehnquist), Frances Fisher (Barbara Schoenberg) and Moritz Bleibtreu (Gustav Klimt); Runtime: 110; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producers: David M. Thompson/Kris Thykier; The Weinstein Company; 2015-UK/USA|
|"The only reason the film should
draw your attention is to catch the great
Helen Mirren, who despite her usual fine
acting can't save this dull drama."
by Dennis Schwartz
Curtis is a Brit filmmaker noted for TV movies.
His mediocre docudrama is a garish, heavy-handed,
sentimental drama of the Nazis rape of the art world
of Europe that results in a courtroom battle over
stolen art. It's based on the true story of Maria
Altmann, who co-wrote the non-fiction book with E.
Randol Schoenberg (grandson of the
composer Arnold Schoenberg ). Ms. Altmann is a wealthy
octogenarian Austrian Jew, who fled the
Nazi occupied Austria during the war and in the late
1990s settled down in LA. The only reason the film
should draw your attention is to catch the great Helen
Mirren, who despite her usual fine acting can't save
this dull drama.
Jewish exile Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren) after the
war seeks the return of a valuable Gustav Klimt
painting, “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I,”
whose subject is often referred to as Austria's Mona
Lisa, which was stolen by the Nazis from her home. A
miscast Ryan Reynolds plays the nice young Jewish
lawyer, a family friend, she hires to handle the
complicated international court case. The
present owner is a Vienna gallery, which
refuses to return the art piece to its rightful
uninspired pic only takes us to places we have often
been to in courtroom dramas. The fine ensemble cast
can only do so much with the woeful material. The
bad guys now are the modern Austrians, who are smug,
anti-Semitic and nationalistic. The good guys help
the sympathetic Holocaust refugee, and take her case
to the United States Supreme Court..
REVIEWED ON 11/13/2015 GRADE: C+
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
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