Woman In Gold tells the story of Maria Altmann, a Jewish refugee, takes on the Austrian government to recover artwork she believes rightfully belongs to her family.
To be quite honest, I did like this film. Even though it was a bit up and down and could’ve been done so much better, especially with the cast that it had. But that didn’t detract from the fact that it had a rather interesting story. It blends art, identity, justice, and international law (and without making it dry, surprisingly).
Helen Mirren gives another stunning performance as Maria Altmann, in which the story revolves, and upstart lawyer Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds). Together, they take on the Austrian Government to reclaim the artwork that was seized illegally during the second world war. They are aided by Austrian journalist (played by Daniel Bruhl), who fights his own demons but is never fully realised or talked about on screen. There are obvious jumps forward in time, that could have been made interesting in the mean time but were however necessary as the film had to cover a seven-plus year legal saga. But this is not really a courtroom drama (like that of Downey Jr’s The Judge), it’s a personal quest for justice and search for identity. What role does a family and history play in determining who we are today? And the film definitely focuses and explores upon that. It is a question that has been asked many times, also, but this time it is seen through the eyes of a woman who has survived what most can only imagine.
Director Richard Curtis has worked well with the film and the time period it was stretched over, but it could have used more build up and suspense. This doesn’t mean that there wasn’t any there. It just means that there could’ve beenmore.
It is worth the watch at the cinemas on a quiet Sunday afternoon.