Maria Altman sought to regain a world famous painting of her aunt plundered by the Nazis during World War II. She did so not just to regain what was rightfully hers, but also to obtain some measure of justice for the death, destruction, and massive art theft perpetrated by the Nazis.Written by
Elyse J. Factor
This film was compelling and had emotional weight.
The Woman in Gold is based on the true story about a woman, Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), and her lawyer, Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), as they attempt to reclaim ownership of an extremely valuable painting (along with a few more) form the Austrian government nearly fifty years after it was stolen by the Nazis. This film has three distinct parts that intertwine through the duration of the show. First, there is a family dynamic that focuses on the emotional stress of the current situation on everyone's personal lives. There is a strong connection between Randol and Maria that grows over time and is given time to grow in these segments. Second, there are flashbacks that dive deeper into Maria's past and emphasize the importance of the artwork as well as explore parallels between the past and the present. Finally there is the trial itself, which is where the action of the conflict lies. This is the least important, yet still necessary part of the story. The percentage of time given to these segments would be around 40/40/20, respectively. While you might be surprised how much of the story takes place in the past, it really does drive the plot. There are many white-knuckle scenes and heart wrenching moments that really add to the film. The past is just as important as the present in this movie, and that is exactly what the film is trying to say. Helen Mirren, as always, was amazing in this film. She was subtle and drove many of the scenes that required raw emotion. Ryan Reynolds was also very good and his role in this film might have been his best performance (from what I have seen). Actually, all of the actors did a fantastic job here. Everyone was on there A-Game and gave it everything they had. There was great chemistry between Mirren and Reynolds which made their characters' connection even more compelling. Reynolds was able to subtly change his character as the case slowly changed his motivations. While, yes, there are a few clichéd scenes that were put in there for emotional levity and drama, but they don't really take much away, if anything. This was an excellent film and I highly recommend it.
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