Written by / 4/06/2015 / No comments / , ,

HELEN MIRREN & RYAN REYNOLDS IN WOMAN IN GOLD

year: 2015 rating: ***
Based on a true story, WOMAN IN GOLD is named after a family-owned painting taken by the Nazis right at the goose-stomping heels of World War II, and in Adolf Hitler’s origin country, Austria…

The piece itself looks somewhat tacky. What’s universal is the concept of a historic yet personal right being wronged, something GOLD handles with breezy precision despite trying too hard to make both leads a bickering odd couple that eventually, and predictably, connect.

Titular Artwork
Helen Mirren’s Maria Altmann, a surviving Jew whose aunt was the painting's subject, and Ryan Reynolds as young American lawyer Randol Schoenberg, struggle to get along during filler moments bridging a globe-spanning court battle ending up in Washington DC. Meanwhile, flashbacks showing the young Maria, played by a fitfully vulnerable yet equally determined Tatiana Maslany, provide a few suspenseful scenes: one in particular involving a foot chase throughout the overtaken city, where, years later, Mirren's Altmann feels very uneasy, and for good reason.

Sometimes too catered for mainstream audience reactions, other times genuinely thoughtful and always lightly entertaining, GOLD shines more in the past than present. Which doesn’t mean our two leads aren’t capable. Mirren is always good, and wields an endearingly stubborn persona to ultimately counter-balance a more subtle Reynolds, ultimately proving himself worthy in a role that takes the entire film to deliver.
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