13 items from 2015
After having robust box office numbers this past weekend and being praised by both audiences and critics, Woman In Gold opens in wide release this Friday, April 10. In his review, Jim Batts says, “Woman In Gold concerns a celebrated work of art, but it’s also about two inspiring lives also worthy of celebration.” Read his review here.
Woman In Gold is the remarkable true story of one woman’s journey to reclaim her heritage and seek justice for what happened to her family. Sixty years after she fled Vienna during World War II, an elderly Jewish woman, Maria Altmann (Mirren), starts her journey to retrieve family possessions seized by the Nazis, among them Klimt’s famous painting ‘Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I’. Together with her inexperienced but plucky young lawyer Randy Schoenberg (Reynolds), she embarks upon a major battle which takes them all the way to the heart of »
- Michelle McCue
Only a week after the sufferings of Effie Gray, another “inspired by true events” drama set in the world of art (specifically paintings) makes its way to the multiplex. The two are quite different, though, with this new film set more than nearly 150 years after that romance gone sour. But this recent release has several flashback scenes some sixty years in the past, during the Second World War. And much of the dramatic highlights take place, not in lush estates, but in boardrooms and courtrooms. So, it’s a WWII thriller and a legal showdown pitting a plucky, feisty mature lady represented by an overwhelmed young lawyer versus an uncaring, unfeeling bureaucracy. Now with Helen Mirren as the lady and Ryan Reynolds as her aide, you know we’re in for a meaty drama indeed as they seek the return of that most celebrated Austrian artwork, the Woman In Gold. »
- Jim Batts
Simon Curtis’ Woman in Gold is a beautifully crafted, fact-based drama about one woman’s courageous journey to reclaim her rightful heritage and seek justice for what happened to her family during World War II. Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), an elderly Jewish woman, sets out to recover artwork that includes Gustav Klimpt's iconic portrait of her beloved Aunt Adele stolen from her family during the Nazi occupation of Vienna. With the help of an inexperienced but tenacious young lawyer, Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), she confronts difficult truths about the past that will take her case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and beyond. In an exclusive interview, Curtis explained why this was a great story of the 20th century, his collaboration with screenwriter Alexi Kaye Campbell, the inspiration he drew from his immigrant experience, the emotional intensity of recreating on film the demise of the Jewish community in Vienna, »
- Sheila Roberts
Oftentimes resembling a mosaic of pandering moments rather than an actual film, the most interesting cliché Woman in Gold employs is the Mona Lisa of speech writing crutches. It’s around the midpoint of the film that star Helen Mirren is addressing an Austrian assembly about the restitution of Nazi-confiscated art. As such, it’s the perfect time for her character, and screenwriter Alexi Kaye Campbell to tell us the dictionary definition of restitution: the return of something to its original state. That there’s little original about Woman in Gold, beyond its remarkable true story, is a nuisance, but it does help to elucidate the often-cagey relationship between film and fine art.
The movies, an organic medium, imitate life using the motion and sound that make up most of our everyday experiences. Paintings, Woman in Gold’s subject of interest, are no less powerful in their imagery, but that power comes from a singular, »
- Sam Woolf
Chicago – The horrors of the Holocaust have been expressed in cinematic art through many angles. “Woman in Gold” takes another track, that of restoring a work of art that was stolen from a Jewish family in Austria. The legal maneuverings, however, lacks a sense that this is victorious.
The story – based on true events – simply isn’t told interestingly enough, or maybe there just wasn’t enough power in the situation in the first place to expand it into a movie. All the gravitas is there, including Helen Mirren as the old Austrian immigrant, who lives in Los Angeles in the 1990s, fighting to restore some dignity to her family by reclaiming their work of art. One of the two main characters are miscast, and the flashbacks to Austria circa World War II era adds no depth to the contemporary portion of the story – it probably could have been handled without the flashbacks. »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
The story of Gustav Klimt's painting The Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer (confiscated by Nazis, displayed as Austria's Mona Lisa in a Vienna museum, test case in the law granting reparations to Jewish descendants) has already been detailed in articles, a book, and several documentaries. What Woman in Gold has over nonfiction portrayals is emotion, and director Simon Curtis (My Week With Marilyn) milks every scene for its heart-tugging potential. Alexi Kaye Campbell's script makes it easy for Curtis: The relationship between Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), whose aunt is depicted in Klimt's famous golden portrait, and attorney Randol Schoenberg (Rya »
It's probably something of a compliment that a "Weinstein Company" movie has become its own genre. Back in the day this would be known, of course, as a "Miramax" movie, but Harvey Weinstein has managed to keep this trope alive even at his relatively new company. For those who are uniformed, a "Weinstein Company" movie usually includes a number of the following characteristics: (1) it's a period piece usually touching somehow on World War II, (2) it's primarily aimed at an over 25 and/or female demo, (3) it often features a meaty lead role that could lead to an Oscar nomination and/or (4) it features a previous Academy Award winner in some capacity. This type of movie used to be the definition of Oscar bait, but over the last decade it’s become almost exclusively associated with a majority of The Weinstein Company’s releases (You can now argue Oscar bait’s meaning »
- Gregory Ellwood
All that Glitters: Curtis Traps Compelling Kernel in Avalanche of Schmaltz
British television alum Simon Curtis graduated to feature filmmaking in 2011 with the incredibly problematic My Week with Marilyn. Apparently, whatever its faults, they were easy to overlook, as the film nabbed a number of critics’ choice awards, along with prestigious BAFTA and Academy Award nominations. Unfortunately, his penchant for mawkishness has showed no sides of abatement in his follow-up feature, Woman in Gold, also based on compelling true events but at least portraying subjects that feel imbued with less drastic measures of caricature since they aren’t ingrained in cultural pop subconscious with such sacred fury.
In the late 1990s, the Austrian government began to revamp its art restitution laws in reference to victims of WWII. Upon the death of her sister, Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), an elderly Los Angeles shop keeper who had fled Austria sixty years prior to escape the Nazis, »
- Nicholas Bell
Chicago – The painting “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer” was created by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt, and was considered Austria’s greatest artwork. The remarkable journey of the painting, stolen from its original Jewish family by the Nazis during World War II, is the basis for the new film, “Woman in Gold,” directed by Simon Curtis.
“Woman in Gold” is based on the true story of Maria Altmann (portrayed in the film by Helen Mirren), a Viennese immigrant in the United States who fought the Austrian government for rightful claim to her family’s paintings in the 1990s, including the famous gold leaf portrait of her Aunt Adele. Altmann brings in an American lawyer named Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds) to act as her lawyer, and their years of litigation to make this art restitution was one of the most high profile of these cases. The film includes flashbacks of the family in Vienna during those war years, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
“Woman in Gold,” which opens on April 1, 2015 and is rated “PG-13,” also stars Katie Holmes, Daniel Brühl, Max Irons, Tatiana Maslany, Charles Dance, Elizabeth McGovern, Antje Traue, Frances Fisher, Jonathan Pryce and Tom Schilling from director Simon Curtis from writer Alexi Kaye Campbell based on the life stories of E. Randol Schoenberg and Maria Altmann.
To win your free “Woman in Gold” passes courtesy of HollywoodChicago.com, just get interactive with our social media widget below. That’s it! This screening is on Monday, March 30, 2015 at 7 p.m. in downtown Chicago. The more social actions you complete, the more points you score and the higher yours odds of winning! Completing these social actions only increases your odds of winning »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Gustav Klimt may have been celebrated for his gilded portraits of elegant Austrian ladies, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the same approach suits “Woman in Gold,” director Simon Curtis’ garish “good taste” account of how a determined Jewish exile (played by Helen Mirren) sought the restitution of a Klimt painting seized by the Nazis. Weinsteined to within an inch of its life, this compelling true story forbids any room for perfectly reasonable arthouse audiences to question Maria Altmann’s case, striking back at the anti-Semitism of the time with an equally noxious caricature of modern Austrians as law-bending, art-thieving monsters.
In other words, “My Week With Marilyn” director Curtis and screenwriter Alexi Kaye Campbell (a theater talent making his bigscreen debut) have taken the position that there’s no room for debate where rectifying the wrongs of Austria’s past is concerned, which makes for a reasonably dull ride, »
- Peter Debruge
The Weinstein Company secures sale of drama starring Helen Mirren, set to world premiere at Berlinale.
German distributor SquareOne Entertainment has acquired all German-speaking European rights, excluding Switzerland, to historical drama Woman In Gold from The Weinstein Company (TWC).
The deal was negotiated by Al Munteanu and Ingrid Pittana for SquareOne Entertainment with TWC.
Directed by Simon Curtis‘ (My Week With Marilyn), the film stars Oscar-winner Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds and Daniel Brühl. Co-stars include Charles Dance, Elizabeth McGovern, Katie Holmes and Max Irons.
The film will have its world premiere at the upcoming Berlin Film Festival (Feb 5-15) where the film debuts as a Berlinale Special Gala.
Playwright Alexi Kaye Campbell wrote Woman In Gold, which is produced by David M. Thompson for Origin Pictures and Kris Thykier, executive produced by Harvey and Bob Weinstein for TWC, and BBC Films’ Christine Langan.
It tells the true story of Maria Altmann (Mirren), an octogenarian Jewish refugee, who takes »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Rosser)
London — German distributor SquareOne Entertainment has acquired all German-speaking European rights, excluding Switzerland, to Simon Curtis’ historical drama “Woman in Gold” from The Weinstein Company. The film will have its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival, where it debuts as a Berlinale Special Gala.
Playwright Alexi Kaye Campbell wrote the screenplay. Pic is produced by David M. Thompson for Origin Pictures and Kris Thykier. It is executive produced by Harvey and Bob Weinstein for The Weinstein Company, and BBC Films’ Christine Langan.
“Woman in Gold” is the true story of a woman’s fight to reclaim her heritage and seek justice for what happened to her family. Sixty years after she fled Vienna during World War II, an elderly Jewish woman, Maria Altmann (Mirren), starts her »
- Leo Barraclough
13 items from 2015
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