… so a very good reason for returning to New York.
Yesterday evening I treated myself to a Helen Mirren movie, Woman in Gold. I hadn’t read much about the movie … but I’m a sucker for anything with Helen Mirren. And what a treat I was up for. The film was released on 1th of April this year.
I have admired Gustav Klimt’s art for many years … and my favorite is ” Kiss”. Gustav Klimt, born just outside Vienna in 1862, the second child out of 6. He became what they call a symbolism painter. Klimt was the most influenced by Japanese art and its methods.
The movie is about one of his paintings. Klimt completes his masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, more commonly known as “Woman In Gold” in 1907. Mrs. Adele Bloch-Bauer was a refined art-loving Viennese salon lady, a patron and close friend of Gustav Klimt. Adale only model twice for Klimt. Adele were Maria’s aunt.
The painting was seized by the Nazis during the war from their family home and in 1941, it was acquired by the Austrian state gallery, housed in the Belvedere Palace in Vienna.Which has become a national treasure: an Austrian Mona Lisa.
Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer died in November 1945 in Zurich. In his 1945 testament, he designated his nephew and nieces, including Maria Altmann, as the heirs of his estate.
Sixty years after fleeing Vienna Maria started her fight …. she sued Austria in US Court for ownership of “Adele Bloch-Bauer I” and other paintings from her uncle’s collection. As Bloch-Bauer’s pictures had remained in Austria, the Austrian government took the position that the testament of Adele Bloch-Bauer had determined that these pictures were to stay there.
This is the true story that the movie is based on – Maria’s fight for justice to get her aunt’s portrait back. The reviews for this movie is ranging from “ordinary” to “extraordinary movie.”
Helen Mirren is magnificent as Maria Altmann, an elderly Jewish woman going up against Austria, with help of an inexperienced young lawyer, Randy Schoenberg, played by Ryan Reynolds. Maria has such wonderful sense of humor.
Ryan Reynolds as her lawyer might at first seem to be an odd choice because of his generally goofy roles but this actually works to his advantage.
There has been some negative critic’s reviews about the film and I can’t understand what they on about, but on the other hand the critics and I often has different opinions about movies. A story about young woman’s life story, her and her family’s escape from Nazi occupation, and at the same time describing how to get back stolen family property by the Nazi’s 50 years prior is just a stunning accomplishment.
Slowly explaining the story, and mixing past and present. It is a story with many facets like Maria’s husband, Fritz being sent to Dachau, like Maria’s brother being saved by one of Hitler’s relations (Hiedler), not mention in the movie.
A deeply moving story and a film about the Holocaust without violence and horrific scenes. It’s a movie that any age can watch. The flashbacks between time periods are exquisitely done. Personal I think this is a remarkable movie and it has gone far up on my favorite list.
Director; Simon Curtis
Produced by BBC Films UK and The Weinstein Company. Runtime: 109 min
Helen Mirren … Maria Altmann
Ryan Reynolds … Randol Schoenberg
Daniel Brühl … Hubertus Czernin
Katie Holmes … Pam
Tatiana Maslany … Young Maria Altmann
Max Irons … Fritz
Antje Traue … Adele Bloch Bauer
Moritz Bleibtreu … Gustav Klimt
Music; Martin Phipps and Hans Zimmer
Director Simon Curtis is the man also behind “My Week with Marilyn” … also one of my absolute favorite movies – did a review about the movie a couple of years ago – here is the link; “my evening with marilyn”
In June 2006 the work was sold for US$135 million to cosmetics heir Ronald Lauder and now hanging on display at The Neue Galerie, located on 1048th 5th Av, near the Metropolitan Museum of Art. So now I have a good excuse to visit New York again for a couple of days.
This movie has a message, with entertainment, and with a little bit of history, so that we don’t forget and hopefully we won’t make the same mistakes again.
The painting left Austria in 2006 and Maria Altmann died in 2011.
Make sure you have a box of tissues close to hands.
“They’ll never admit to what they did,
because if they admit to one thing,
they’ll have to admit to it all.”
Maira Altmann (Woman in Gold)
I’m not able to find any track from the movie’s soundtrack to use as cloud for this post so I have chosen a piece of my favorite composer – my number one, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his most powerful piece – The Requiem Mass in D minor, composed in 1791 and left unfinished because of his death the same year (only 35 years old), the is completion dated 1792 by Franz Xaver Süssmayr.
This section is called “Dies Irae” (Day of Wrath) – is a Latin hymn that goes back to 1200’s – it has been quoted by many of our classical composers beside Mozart – like; Liszt, Haydn, Mahler, Saint-Saëns, Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff, but also by Hans Zimmer on his sound track to the movie “The Rock” 1996.
Images provided by and thanks to;
Gallery 1; prisma.de/cariereonlin.ro/deadlin.com/timesunion.com
Gallery 2; mashumashu.com/youtube.com/tw.droupnir.com/labutaca.net/