Film Discussion: Woman in Gold (Austria)

Cinema Stats

  • Year: 2015
  • Director: Simon Curtis
  • Writer: Alexi Kaye Campbell
  • Genre: biographical drama
  • Rating: PG 13; some sexual references and historical smoking
  • Length: 1 hour 39 minutes
  • Stars: Helen Miriam, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Bruhl, Katie Holmes

Cher’s Ratings

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Arm Chair Travel to Austria, Film Discussion

Woman in Gold” is a gripping biographical drama with interest for lovers of art, lovers of history and lovers of justice!

Travel Tips: Austria

Lovers:

I’ve always been fascinated with the art of Gustav Klimt whose painting titled “Lovers” or “The Kiss” during his Golden Period has been a mainstay of art books and posters over the years. (Details on my blog post “The Kiss“)

I was also vaguely aware of another painting, “Woman in Gold,” which came to my attention as I searched for an appropriate artwork for my Golden Autumn blog post. The discovery of this painting and its history opened a whole new adventure for me!

Woman in Gold:

This new adventure included the discovery of a 2015 British film based on Klimt’s painting, “The Woman in Gold”/”Lady in Gold” or “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer”.

The fascinating story of Adele and her Jewish family, the painting’s colorful history includes its intriguing theft by Nazi’s, and a happy ending with its eventual return to its family of origin decades later.

Maria Altmann: The film is based on the true story of Maria Altmann (Helen Miriam), Adele’s niece, who is an elderly Jewish refugee living in Los Angeles, California in the late 20th century.

Together with her initially reluctant young lawyer (Daniel Bruhl), they fight the Austrian government for almost a decade to reclaim this painting for her family, taking her legal battle all the way to the United States Supreme Court.

Persistence wins out

Eventually they win a victory for her family reclaiming “The Woman in Gold” along with several other family paintings stolen by the Nazis.

Justice:

In the bigger picture, for the lovers of justice everywhere, it is a landmark victory for all other claims for art stolen by Hitler and the Nazis which have been absorbed into private collections and museums all over the world after the war.

History:

For history buffs, critics feel it is quite accurate; including my husband, a history professor! He loved the movie!

Culture:

The culture of Vienna was well represented, both today as well as during World War II, especially for Jewish families before and after they were uprooted by the Nazi’s.

Travel:

What does it have for travel buffs? While not really a “travel film,” the film does provide a glimpse of street scenes in Vienna, Austria which I connected with, having visited there for a brief time.

The most meaningful site for me was a moving visit by Maria to the Jewish Place Holocaust Memorial, a “must see” for any traveler to Vienna

“Woman in Gold” is a gripping biographical drama with interest for lovers of art, lovers of history and lovers of justice!

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