It has been a little while but I am back! I’ll start putting reviews up as I watch movies! What a great movie to come back from after a break.
Sixty years after fleeing Vienna, Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), an elderly Jewish woman, attempts to reclaim family possessions that were seized by the Nazis. Among them is a famous portrait of Maria’s beloved Aunt Adele: Gustave Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I.” With the help of young lawyer Randy Schoeberg (Ryan Reynolds), Maria embarks upon a lengthy legal battle to recover this painting and several others, but it will not be easy, for Austria considers them national treasures.
Yay or Nay?
For sure Yay. This was moving, inspirational, and above all portrayed many facets of the human condition.
It begins with Maria (Helen Mirren) finding letters from that pertain to art that was stolen by the Nazis during World War II, among them is Gustave’s Klimt’s famous portrait. In Austria, the portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer is considered the Mona Lisa of Austria. From here the government is unwilling to yield despite evidence that Randy (Ryan Reynolds) uncovers. It is an uphill battle and from that point forward Ryan Reynolds gives a A+ performance. It is one of his more serious roles and you half expected him to crack jokes here and there but he stayed true to the course.
The star of the show was obviously Helen Mirren, who gave a performance that would have made anyone proud. Just as she played a very vivid character, so did her counterpart in the flashbacks to when Maria was a young girl. They choose a good actress to play a younger Maria, and Tatiana Maslany was both heart breaking and endearing. You can see how the young Maria transitioned into the older one.
The absolutely stunning Antje Traue was easily transformed into the subject of the painting; Adele. You can hardly tell she was one of the Kryptonian from Man of Steel or the grungy woman from Pandorum. She is stunning and beautiful yes, but it is through the flashbacks and the way that she is described that makes her endearing. I believe this is one of the strongest aspects of the entire film. You don’t care for these characters just because, you care for them through other people. The most pinnacle of these is of course through Maria’s character.
This entire movie is a piece of art in itself. Between the cinematography and the story, it was an instant hit with me. It is one of those movies you can tell just about anyone about because it decides that class is a more important way to get the point across then violence. There are hair raising moments but nothing that is terrifying or grotesque. This is a piece of art that is beautifully done and wonderfully presented.
What do the experts say?
Rotten Tomatoes: 5.2/10
Roger Ebert: 2.5/4
I say 7.5/10. The reason it doesn’t get the full points is because there were a few loose ends that were left in the air. I have to say the biggest *spoilers* is they never tell you what happened to Maria’s husband.
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