Jun 22, 2018

Art Movies: Woman in Gold

Our recommendation this week is Woman in Gold. The 2015 film is based on the  real story of the legal battle fought by a Jewish refugee, Maria Altmann, and her lawyer, Randy Schoenberg, to reclaim Gustav Klimt’s portrait of her aunt, Adele Bloch-Bauer I. The movie stars Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Bruhl, and Katie Holmes and was scored by Hans Zimmer and Martin Phipps.

Gustav Klimt, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (1903-1907)

Klimt’s ‘The Woman in Gold’ was looted by the Nazis from Altmann’s family home during World War II and eventually found its way into Galerie Belvedere in Vienna. The legal battle in the film is, therefore, between Altmann and the Austrian Government. The film alludes to the issues of art restitution and explores the legal, cultural and emotional considerations of both parties in such claims.  

A still from “Woman in Gold” directed by Simon Curtis, 2015 

Reviews of the film are highly flattering with regard to the performances of the star-studded cast. Helen Mirren received a Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for her Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role. Reviews and rankings on IMDB and Rotten Tomatoes for the film as a whole have been lukewarm.

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