Woman in Gold is, on the surface, a story about an elderly Jewish woman's attempt to get back some valued paintings (heirlooms) stolen from her family by the Nazi's, sometime after the Anschluss.
Her name is Maria Altmann.
Her name is Maria Altmann.
But it's about so much more than that, isn't it?
I don't even know where to start really. My emotions are still running wild having just seen it. And maybe that's the brilliance of this movie; its emotional impact.
I ran the gamut, as I watched this elderly woman fight so hard to come to terms with her horrific past despite her fear, and this young man risk so much to come to terms with his future.
I loved the flashback integrations and thought that Tatiana Maslany was every bit as wonderful as the ever-brilliant Helen Mirren. Unfortunately, I think Woman in Gold was released too early in the year to get serious Oscar notice, otherwise I think this might be the third time in which two women were nominated for Oscars playing the same role in the same movie.
I can't say I hated the Austrian government in the movie. I just thought that this is what governments do, unfair though it may be, and it was damned unfair.
I completely agree with you that the most gut-wrenching scene in the movie was Maria's farewell to her parents! I could not help but cry, especially when her father smiled and spoke English, "the language of your future home."
The biggest surprise for me in the movie was the performance given by Ryan Reynolds. I was so afraid of getting the Green Lantern, but he was quite good.
I completely agree with you that this movie was about relationships, the most compelling being the one between the older woman so grievously damaged in her youth, and a young man living in the shadow of his grandfather who changed Western music forever with the "twelve-tone technique."
That, then, makes the Klimt paintings the Macguffin.
One lovely moment I would like to mention is the place where the Austrian journalist Hubertus Czernin admits to the Jewish Maria Altmann that his father was a Nazi. Her reaction was perfect, patting him on the hand and telling him that he is a good man. The real Maria said of him, "Without Hubertus, there would have been nothing." The real Hubertus died in 2006 at the age of 50 of mastocytosis, his obituary saying, "Believing in justice for Maria Altmann kept Czernin alive."
I lost myself in this movie. I completely lived the depiction of the Anschluss, and the coldness of the modern day Austrians (loved those kangaroos, huh?). I travelled back in time with Maria and loved how modern day Maria finally joined them in the ending scene letting us know how much she was able to let go.
Simon Curtis's direction was amazing!
Most of all, though, Jodie, I lived in the emotion of the film. This is one of those rare ones for me. When it comes out on DVD, I'm buying it!
10 out of 10
Read Jodie's review here.
I'm sure the brownies were amazing!