‘Woman in Gold,’

The China Post - - ARTS - BY LIND­SEY BAHR

his­tory of so many. It’s an in­ter­est­ing ques­tion, but “Woman in Gold” doesn’t have the guts to go too deep on that or any of the com­plex­i­ties around Maria’s quest.

Also, in­stead of en­gag­ing in any dia­logue about the idea of recla­ma­tion, the film has a pre­de­ter­mined moral nar­ra­tive. From the be­gin­ning, the Aus­tri­ans are por­trayed as thiev­ing, greedy, petty and wholly dis­in­ter­ested in the past trau­mas of its ex­iled cit­i­zens.

It doesn’t even re­ally func­tion as a thrilling legal drama, even when they reach the Supreme Court of the United States. Ev­ery victory and “ah-ha” mo­ment plays like a shrug. Per­haps the les­son is that there is no ac­tual tri­umph in recla­ma­tion.

As for Randy, with a wife and a baby at home and a brand new job at a pres­ti­gious firm on the line, he has no rea­son to get tan­gled up with Maria. At one point he cries that he only said yes be­cause he dis­cov­ered the worth of the paint­ings, but as his pro­fes­sional life caves in around this long fight, his mo­tives be­come even more be­wil­der­ing. The movie tells us that he ma­tures, but it fails to show it in a mean­ing­ful way.

“Woman in Gold” reaches for glossy, based-on-a-true-story cin­e­matic heights with the depth of one of its made-for-tele­vi­sion coun­ter­parts.

► Di­rected by Leigh Whan­nell With Der­mot Mul­roney, Ste­fanie Scott and An­gus Samp­son

English with Chi­nese sub­ti­tles Com­edy, Drama, Fan­tasy USA 99 min.

2014 Max Simkin, a lonely shoe­maker who is slightly un­happy about his life in the same New York shop that has been in his fam­ily for gen­er­a­tions, stum­bles upon a mag­i­cal heir­loom that al­lows him to step incog­nito into the lives of his cus­tomers when wear­ing their shoes. Di­rected by Thomas McCarthy With Elli, Adam San­dler, Adam B.

Shapiro

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