Woman in Gold is a marvelous and perfectly artistic approach at depicting a famous art restitution case from the Nazi invasion in Austria.
The film is not without inherent faults of bias and the occasional cringe-worthy line, but as a whole, the movie flows like an ornately crafted chronological court case with just the right balance of flashbacks from WWII Austria.
Helen Mirren plays Maria Altmann, a present-day woman in her early 80s attempting to recover lost art from when it was unlawfully taken during WWII by the Nazi party.
What a gleeful joy was created with a fussing older, woman character teaching a young man of Austrian descent about the history of his grandparents whilst his attorney service guide her through appeals, trials and up to the Supreme Court.
Based on a true story, Woman in Gold captures the emotion of individuals affected by art restitution and Mirren is extraordinary in her acting as scenes transition from present day to the 1940s in the war.
The stylistic portions of the film in both the scenes from Austria and the flashbacks of the well-to-do family of Maria Altmann are rich and captivating.
The Klimt painting in question, a portrait of Maria Altmann’s aunt Adele Bloch-Bauer, is depicted perfectly as both the portrait of Adele and as a sign of elegance of the time that was ripped from the Austrian people.
Though the film’s biggest strengths are the quality of style, the perfectly fit cast and witty and emotive dialogue, the movie has faults in the depictions of other parties.
The issue with this film is the demonization of not just the Nazi party, but the current Austrian people in charge of restitution.
The restitution committee in the film and the individuals addressed as characters are depicted to be greedy individuals unwilling to admit to the crimes of the past.
The blatant disdain and disregard for those individuals’ part in the story for individals make the otherwise captivating film difficult to watch.
Ryan Reynolds and Helen Mirren’s witty banter throughout the film is both endearing and keeps the lengthy film at a comfortable pace.