Woman in Gold
Release year: 2015
Director: Simon Curtis
Screenwriter: Alexi Kaye Campbell, E. Randol Schoenberg (life story), Maria Altmann (life story)
Starring: Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Brühl, Katie Holmes, Tatiana Maslany, Max Irons, Charles Dance, Antje Traue, Frances Fisher
Jewish refugee Maria Altmann (Mirren) approaches the lawyer son of her friend, Randy Schoenberg (Reynolds), and asks for his help. During the World War, her family’s property were stolen by the Nazis, among them a famous portrait of her aunt by Gustav Klimt. Together the two begins a fight against the Austrian state to regain what they believe is rightfully hers.
Based on the true story of how Maria Altmann and her lawyer took on the Austrian state in a battle that stirred up emotions still raw from the war. The classy Mirren (The Queen, 2006) as Maria is easily the best thing in the movie, proud and affected by memories, she convinces in every scene while Reynolds (Buried, 2010) is good as her young, determined lawyer. But despite the strong performances, the movie can’t lose a TV-movie feel created from a impassioned handling of an otherwise fascinating story. The flashback stories are gripping but the constant shift between times, means you are never quite as captured by either storyline as you could have wished. A shame, since Maria’s story certainly is a dramatic one.
Maria Altmann died in 2011 at the age of 94.
Picture copyrights: SF Film