DATELINE: One of the Golden Girls
Ryan Reynolds is Harvard’s Hasty Pudding Man of the Year. He likely won because of Deadpool, but his far better movie of the year is Woman in Gold.
Lacking car chases, fights with super powers and other special effects, the film obviously has had a much smaller audience.
Co-starring with Helen Mirren as the niece of the woman in the famous Klimt painting, Reynolds is a nebbish attorney, grandson of Arnold Schoenberg.
As they confront the dubious art leaders of the museum, Mirren compares her lawyer to Sean Connery and James Bond—an era when technology and special effects supported a good plot.
The true story centers on the efforts of an aging refugee of the Nazi regime in Austria. She is trying to retrieve the $100 million painting that hangs in a Viennese museum. What she encounters are a bunch of crypto-Nazis.
Reynolds represents her as a favor to his mother, against his own law firm’s wishes. Mrs. Altmann feared traveling back to the place where her family died—and her nightmares and rush of memories emerge at every site.
A protracted court case, going to the Supreme Court of the United States, and ending with a hearing in Austria, wears on them. Mrs. Altmann wants to take her Aunt Adele (in the form of the art work) to the United States. Mirren seems a tad young to be a girl from the 1930s in Austria (story is set in 1997).
We will abstain from analyzing the painting, which may not be flattering at all.
A few marvelous actors adorn the film in golden cameos: Charles Dance, Jonathan Pryce, and Elizabeth McGovern.
In an age of cartoon/comic book tales, the gold Klimt image of Adele Bloch-Bauer may seem like a super-heroic woman—but it is her niece with the determination to finish a battle to honor Adele’s murdered family.