I'm pleased to present an intelligent and beautifully made movie that I love: Woman In Gold (2015, Rated PG-13, Available on DVD).
Woman In Gold is based on the true story of Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren) and her quest to regain artwork stolen from her family by the Nazis. Altmann and her husband flee Austria after the Nazi Anschluss. In flashbacks, they leave behind family and possessions, including artwork painted expressly for Altmann's artistic and aristocratic Jewish family by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt.
The "Woman In Gold"––a portrait by Klimt of Altmann's aunt, Adele Bloch-Bauer––hung in Austria's National Gallery after it was plundered by the Nazis in 1941 and was known as the Mona Lisa of Austria. In 2000, Altmann, by then in her eighties, and her young lawyer, Randol "Randy" Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), sue Austria to regain the portrait and other paintings by Klimt that rightfully belong to Altmann.
I love this movie because it brings history to life and because of the relationship that develops between Altmann and Schoenberg, an aspect of the script that is clever without being sappy. The quest for the artwork also leads Schoenberg to learn more about his own family's heritage.
Woman In Gold earns The Janie Junebug Seal of Highest and Most Worthy Approval. I urge you to watch it with children who are old enough to understand the historical significance of the theft of artwork by the Nazis.
Other movies that can lead to a more specific understanding of the Nazis' relationship to stolen art include The Monuments Men, and even better, the documentary The Rape of Europa.
I want to tell you more about Maria Altmann and the paintings by Klimt, but to avoid spoilers, I shall wait until tomorrow. With a separate post available, you can read it when you are ready to do so.
Happy viewing! I hope you love and appreciate this movie, which I watched on a DVD delivered by my friendly neighborhood mail carrier from Netflix, with whom I have a close, personal relationship. The friendly neighborhood mail carrier, we're not so close.
Infinities of love,
|Here is the spectacular portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer|
by Gustav Klimt.