Woman in Gold is a wonderful movie. However, it comes with a bland script which means that the storyline is pretty dull. Otherwise, it is a superb film and one worth remembering fondly.
Woman in Gold is all about how the Nazis stole a painting by a famous artist and found themselves on the receiving end of a lawsuit. However, the movie does not have that particular spark due to the drearily monotonous storytelling.
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When put side by side with Gustav Klimt’s Lady in Gold, the plot of this movie appears even more bulkier and blander. Based on a true story, Helen Mirren is shown as a respected Jewish heiress who fleds the Nazis and lands up in LA.
Hitler’s SS police storm her family home in Austria and pilfer what they can. It is only later on that she discovers that among the artworks stolen by the Nazis were works by Klimt which actually showed one of her elderly female relatives depicted in them.
That is when she seeks the aid of an attorney (played by Ryan Reynolds) to help her sue the hell out of the Nazis (or what’s left of them since by now it is the year 1998). Ultimately, the lady along with her lawyer take on the entire Austrian government.
Mirren is not sure if she actually wants to face the demons of the past in Austria. By now the stolen paintings have become a part of the museum’s national heritage. After being shuttlecocked several times between Vienna and LA, finally the case gets settled and the paintings are returned safe and sound to their rightful owner…that is Mirren.
While the story is true to life, it does miss out on huge chunks of it. The part where the Jews make it to safety in the USA is not shown for example. The Viennese straw bosses are shown as very moribund types which again does not show fidelity to life. The overall story and narrative is pretty dull stuff which is about the only thing which detracts from the movie’s otherwise splendor and grandeur.
The film despite being a little difficult to watch, for those raised on the “guts, guns and gore” formula of Hollywood, has its saving grace in the fact that it truly uplifts the spirit and erases the cobwebs by showing that justice can slowly jog its way to the finish line. Watch and be stimulated (in a mature way) via its epic saga of one woman’s journey to salvage her past.