Menu
Entertainment

RE-VIEW: ‘Based on a more interesting true story’

Woman in Gold, in cinemas now.
Woman in Gold, in cinemas now. BBC Films/Allstar

Re-View, with Matt Murphy - The DEX columnist

TIMELINE - America 1998. World War II ended 53 years ago. A distant memory and most want it left as such. Except one woman. Helen Mirren plays Jewish Austrian-American Holocaust survivor Maria Altmann, now an 80-something small boutique owner in sunny California, at peace with her little life. But with the recent death of her sister, she discovers letters and documents possibly proving ownership of priceless family artworks now displayed in Viennese museum.

The most famous, a painting of her late Aunt known as 'Woman in Gold' the main attraction of the items that were stolen by the Nazis during WWII. With recent changes to Austrian law regarding Stolen Nazi Art Restitution - and with the help of a reluctant family friend and young lawyer (Ryan Reynolds), Maria sees her chance to reclaim what is rightfully her families and have justice served.

As difficult as it is to structure and pace what is primarily a court and appeal procedural melodrama set over several years, the filmmakers sorta, maybe, kinda, make it work.

Despite the cliched flashbacks and heavy exposition on how everyone is feeling at any given minute.

The problem, and it's hard to admit to this about a Holocaust survivor story with all its Nazi horror, is that I wasn't emotionally engaged with the characters and story.

Even with a subtle nod toward modern day (ok the late 1990s), anti-Semitic feeling in Austria and a brief look at the murky world of the political games played as part of war reparation - say sorry but admit to as little as possible - the film felt a little contrived.

A more in depth look at the situation, apparently around 100,000 pieces of Art still remain unaccounted for (i.e. probably in South America somewhere) and whether current Governments help or hinder the process of justice for these undoubted victims of one of the great horrors in our history, could have been more intriguing.

The cast is solid, Mirren is elegant and bold, easily conveying the motives and pain of a strong, independent survivor.

The rest enjoy the easy ride - not particularly challenged along the way to show any great depth.

Perhaps all relied too heavily on the emotional baggage supplied by a Jewish Survivor 'Underdog' War movie.

So unfortunately, Woman in Gold should come with the tagline…based on a more interesting true story.

Topics:  film matt murphy opinio re-view



Scholarship places student on diet path

Zari Cansdell receives the Frank Glasson Memorial Scholarship plaque by Don Philbrook from the Grafton Midday Rotary Club.

Scholarship helps pave the way to Cansdell's university dream

Look what the cat dragged in

Bree with Courtneay after finding her at Junction Hill Park.

A young girl found a missing cat and returned it to her owners.

That's a wrap waiting for Mexico to hit Grafton

Reporter Ebony Stansfield taste-testing the new Burrito Bar.

We tried the brand new Burrito Bar in Grafton.

Local Partners

‘The Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad of music videos’

JUSTIN Timberlake’s new music video features JT battling Harvey Weinstein, Donald Trump and the Illuminati. It’s ... really cringe-worthy.

First look at Zac Efron as infamous serial killer

Zac Efron stars as serial killer Ted Bundy in new movie Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile. Picture: Christian Gilles

Efron plays Ted Bundy in the highly-anticipated new thriller.

Meghan, Prince Harry score adorable gift in Wales

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle met the crowd at Cardiff Castle.

Tiny pair of namesakes steal the spotlight in Wales.

Facebook ‘birth’ post: ‘Disturbing and creepy’

A Denver woman created a hilarious 'birth' photoshoot to announce the arrival of her new kitten. (Elizabeth Woods-Darby) Celebrating Beloved Cats Everywhere. Credit - Various via Storyful

LUCY Shultz and her boyfriend pose for pictures typical of any new parents with...

Balding Wills’ dramatic new $300 buzz cut

Britain's Prince William chats to guests at a reception after delivering a speech to celebrate the national rollout of the 'Step into Health' programme, at Chandos House in London, Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018.

The Duke of Cambridge has long joked about his receding hairline

Ruby in a wheelchair after revealing condition

Ruby Rose arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Pitch Perfect 3" at the Dolby Theatre

Ruby Rose has shocked fans after sharing about her crippling condition

Bernardi in Cassar-Daley countdown firing line

Troy cassar daley with his latest golden guitar.

Cassar-Daley latest musician to protest Bernardi's countdown