Helen Mirren could play Maria Altmann in her sleep. Woman in gold tells the true story of Altmann’s legal fight to reclaim the artworks that was taken from her family by the Nazis. The film’s main focus is on Gustav Klimt’s painting The woman in gold (real title: Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I), so-called because of Klimt’s use of oil and gold on canvas. The model was Maria’s aunt. Now living in California, Maria contact lawyer Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds), to see if she can get back what rightly belongs to her. Schoenberg accept mainly because of the fact that his grandfather was Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg, and a friend of Maria’s family. Traveling to Austria for the first time since she escaped from the Nazis, brings back bad memories for Maria. Young Maria is played very effectively by Canadian actress Tatiana Maslany. And there is a peculiar cameo from American actress Elizabeth McGovern as a judge. She is married to the director. You think that with such a poignant topic and a performance by a great British leading lady, Woman in gold might be better. It should have been. But the screenplay is full of clichés and riddled with corny sentimentality and even failed attempts at humour. Of course people will be moved, but even though she still a joy to watch, Mirren should have better material to work with.
Woman in gold