Woman in Gold
Woman in Gold delves into one of the lesser-known but fascinating subplots of Holocaust history – the pillaging of major artworks by the Nazis during WWII.
Dame Helen Mirren misses few beats sporting dark contact lenses and an Austrian accent as the dignified survivor who fled to Los Angeles just as war broke out in Europe. Decades later, Maria Altmann approaches an inexperienced young lawyer to help her reacquire a Klimt masterpiece which she says rightfully belongs to her family. The pair take on the Austrian government in an effort to right old wrongs.
The other half in this odd couple is Ryan Reynolds’ Randy Schoenberg, utterly benign against Mirren’s feisty pensioner who is less than keen to revisit the country she considers killed her family and friends. Based on truth, Maria’s contemporary story is not as interesting as the beautifully styled flashbacks which return us to an era reminiscent of The Sound of Music when Austria did not yet realise the peril ahead for its non-Aryan citizens.
Director Simon Curtis (My Week with Marilyn) cuts together an enjoyable enough story, casting famous faces in support and keeping the pace up. While the film lacks the power of superior courtroom dramas or war stories, Woman in Gold will still entertain its no doubt eager audience.