22 user 83 critic

Museum Hours (2012)

Not Rated | | Drama | 6 September 2013 (UK)
2:11 | Trailer
When a Vienna museum guard befriends an enigmatic visitor, the grand Kunsthistorisches Art Museum becomes a mysterious crossroads that sparks explorations of their lives, the city, and the ways in which works of art reflect and shape the world.


Jem Cohen
2 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mary Margaret O'Hara Mary Margaret O'Hara ... Anne
Bobby Sommer Bobby Sommer ... Johann
Ela Piplits Ela Piplits ... Gerda - Visiting Lecturer
Marcus O'Hara Marcus O'Hara ... Bruegel Tour Group
Deborah Gzesh Deborah Gzesh ... Bruegel Tour Group
Marco Calamita Marco Calamita ... Bruegel Tour Group
Nina Calamita Nina Calamita ... Bruegel Tour Group
Sigrid Mölg Sigrid Mölg ... Bruegel Tour Group
Evelyne Egerer Evelyne Egerer ... Bruegel Tour Group
Gerda Hartl Gerda Hartl ... Museum Visitor
Ivo Hunek Ivo Hunek ... Museum Visitor
Anna Maria Innerhofer Anna Maria Innerhofer ... Museum Visitor
Anna Nowak Anna Nowak ... Museum Visitor
Michaela Buchegger Michaela Buchegger ... Museum Visitor
Hellmut Goebl Hellmut Goebl ... Museum Visitor


In the Kunsthistorisches Art Museum in Vienna, Johann is a security guard who finds a special quiet magic there. One day, a Canadian woman arrives to visit to the city, and the two strike up a friendship through their appreciation of art. That relationship helps put all the other goings-on at the museum and in the city in perspective, as Johann observes and participates in them in a world where art can say so much more than a casual visitor might know. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A fresh way of seeing.




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site


Austria | USA


English | German

Release Date:

6 September 2013 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Godziny otwarcia See more »

Filming Locations:

Vienna, Austria See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$29,435, 30 June 2013, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$83,725, 7 July 2013
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Johann: After all, many of the works considered greatest in the museums were worth little or nothing in their day. And many of the artists who made them died poor. And yet they sit side by side with paintings that were of great renown and sold for fortunes. Side by side they hang, and if you weren't told, would you know which was witch?
See more »


Featured in The 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards (2014) See more »


Dark, Dear Heart
Written and Performed by Mary Margaret O'Hara
Yet Courier Music
See more »

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User Reviews

"Why in the darkness do I see so clearly?"
28 February 2014 | by doug_park2001See all my reviews

It's hard to review a film this incredible, but I'll try.

MUSEUM HOURS looked like it might be kind of boring, but after watching, I can't see why any more or less adult person would not be intrigued by at least certain aspects of this film. Though pretty distractible, I was held spellbound from start to finish. Like most people, I generally like a strong plot-line with tension, surprises, and all of that. While MUSEUM HOURS has very solid character development and cohesion between its scenes, it just isn't a story-story and is one of those rare films that doesn't need much sequence of events. It's far less depressing than it may appear and actually quite funny in certain--naked people casually strolling the Kunsthistoriches, Johann's narration of missing strategic body parts on ancient sculptures--places.

This film is, of course, all about art imitating life and vice versa. But don't let that scare you off. It's totally lacking in pretense and plays no tricks with its audience, carrying the casual viewer along with it. If I'm making MUSEUM HOURS sound like stoner-food, I can only say that it's a drug of the very best kind. Brilliantly simple, without any of the obscurantist b.s. we often encounter in films of this sort.

There's a lot about Bruegel, one of the few painters who's ever meant much to me. Yet, even if Bruegel doesn't move you, other things in this film most likely will. A myriad of miscellaneous images, some "everyday," some "famous art": MUSEUM HOURS gives new insights into even the simplest, oft-ignored imagery. You'll never be able to look at another landscape--real, imagined, on canvas, whatever--in a cursory way again. Forgive me, but MUSEUM HOURS is truly mind-expanding.

The biggest reason why this film succeeds in being artsy without any of the negative connotations of that term is that it's narrated by Johann, a guard at the famous museum in Vienna who, though he's never been a particular fan of painting, has had much time to stare idly at the artwork--which, of course, includes the visitors and everything else around him--until it becomes so familiar that he notices new details and meanings with every view. Anne, the visitor from Montreal who likes art-in-general but is in Vienna mainly to visit her sister in the hospital, provides further perspectives in her conversations with Johann. There is also a very memorable five minutes with Gerda, amazingly keen in her descriptions but still friendly and open-minded with her tour group.

I don't give ten stars to many films, but anything less would be an injustice here. Though I'm sure that I'd EVENTUALLY grow tired of it, I could watch MUSEUM HOURS every night for quite a while.

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