Thursday, 23 April 2015

Woman in Gold- The monuments of compassion

Firstly I must apologise for my absence I have exams and coursework dates coming up so have been fixing my time on those endeavours rather than this blog. Normal service will resume shortly! Now I have to write a review of what is on course to be my favourite true life story film of the year. As you know I love true life films and biopics, they are a very good medium. Woman in Gold very much shows the best of what this genre has to offer.

Woman in Gold tells the very true story of Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), a elderly Jewish survivor of World War Two and her attempts to get back Klimt's famous painting "Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I" a portrait of her beloved aunt. Altmann asks a friend of hers if her son, Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds) would be willing to help her. What follows is a tense yet beautiful tale of strange friendships, horrific pasts and the promise of a better future.
The story is beautifully told, the script flows beautifully and the actors are astounding. The lead roles are played to perfection. The parts told in Austria during the occupation are harrowing and beautifully filmed. It's also lovely to see Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany (playing young Maria Altmann)  is a role such as this, she really is becoming the next Meryl Streep. The parts back to the Nazi's pillaging her belongings were truly horrific and as she is fleeing I swear I have never cried harder in my life.
What we have to remember is it's really not that long ago that these atrocities happened. In the film Maria Altmann after delivering a speech at a conference about getting stolen art returned is accosted by a man from Austria's government who told her that she was obsessed with the Holocaust and that she should move on. It's a truly hideous scene and shows the horrible intentions of the Austrian government to cover up their illegal possession of the painting of her beloved aunt.
Mirren's performance is nuanced and entrancing. Maria isn't just a power house visionary, she is an elderly woman simply trying to get one of her last remnants of family back. She gets tired and angry. She offers Randy cough drops and wipes the stains of his suit. But she is also  a very important part of history.

Woman in Gold is one of those very important films that tells a story, harrowing and true but so full of hope you can't help but get entranced.

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