Eastern Reporter - - Lifestyle - FEA­TURE FLICK Re­viewed by: Screen­ing: (M) He­len Mir­ren and Ryan Reynolds in

Simon Curtis He­len Mir­ren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Brühl

Ju­lian Wright In cine­mas now DAME He­len Mir­ren can do no wrong.

She is the kind of tal­ent that can lift an av­er­age film and keep us glued to the screen when ev­ery­thing around her is fall­ing apart.

Her per­for­mance in the un­even Woman in Gold is by far the best thing about it.

El­derly Los An­ge­les res­i­dent Maria Alt­mann (Mir­ren), who was forced to flee Aus­tria and the Nazis dur­ing World War II and is still haunted by the or­deal, hires in­ex­pe­ri­enced and down-on-his-luck lawyer Ran­dol Schoen­berg (Ryan Reynolds) to re­cover art from the Aus­trian gov­ern­ment.

A beau­ti­ful por­trait of Maria’s aunty, named Woman in Gold, was stolen by the Nazis in the 1940s, hung in a gallery and has since be­come part of Aus­trian art cul­ture.

Alt­mann and Schoen­berg meet re­sis­tance from the Aus­trian gov­ern­ment, who will not ne­go­ti­ate over the now ex­tremely valu­able art­work, and must over­come sev­eral legal hur­dles put in their path.

This David and Go­liath battle with gor­geously filmed flash­backs has whiffs of Erin Brock­ovich but with­out the fierce and feisty wit.

Also un­like that Ju­lia Roberts ve­hi­cle, Woman in Gold likes to tell us things but rarely takes the time to show us.

The strain the case puts on Schoen­berg’s re­la­tion­ship with this wife Pam (Katie Holmes in an im­mensely un- der­writ­ten role) and their young fam­ily is glossed over, much like many de­tails in the legal process of this sup­pos­edly un­winnable case, for­go­ing half the story in this fas­ci­nat­ing tale.

Re­gard­less, there are some mov­ing mo­ments to this story sure to leave au­di­ences reach­ing for the tis­sues.

As the woman who is still bat­tling her demons, Mir­ren is sen­sa­tional, demon­strat­ing the ex­haust­ing guilt that has fes­tered for years over leav­ing her fam­ily be­hind and bit­ter­ness to­wards her moth­er­land.

Pr i n te d a n d d i s t r i b u te d by P ressReader


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