The trailer for this film did not do it justice, in my opinion. It is a really great movie with an important story to tell. Maybe if it had been an HBO film it would have done better. I know the producers bet on a small number of films to go big or go home with and with the over abundance of excellent films this year The Woman in Gold did not make the cut. As I said, the trailer did not intrigue me and I only saw it because a trusted friend recommended it. She and I don’t always agree on all films, but generally we do on agree on human interest stories.
The story is simple, it is based on the true story of Maria Altman and her quest to reclaim a Gustav Klimt painting that had belonged to her family. The painting, an Austrian national treasure, was a portrait of her beloved aunt and stolen by the Nazis. Helen Mirren plays Maria and I thought she did an incredible job. Shhe was, after all, recognized with a Golden Globe nomination for this role.
Ryan Reynolds portrays Randy Schoenberg, the son of Maria’s close friend, who is struggling to find success as a young lawyer. Maria approaches him to help her with her quest because someone she feels she can trust him. Reluctant at first, he is eventually persuaded not only by her charm and the potential for financial gain, but by the opportunity for redemption and acknowledgement by Austria of some of the atrocities carried out in the war. There is a scene where Ryan Reynolds’s character realizes why this case needs to be won and I believe this is the best acting I have ever seen from Ryan Reynolds. I will not spoil the moment by describing it here. Best you experience this for yourself.
It is a solid film with a good message. Hopefully through word of mouth and video on demand, more will see it.