Thursday, April 30, 2015

Woman In Gold (Rhoades)

Front Row at the Movies

In "Woman In Gold" Helen Mirren Glitters Brightly

Reviewed by Shirrel Rhoades
In 1907 Austrian artist Gustav Klimt painted a portrait of a patron of the arts named Adele Bloch-Bauer. Commissioned by Adele's husband, it was a 54" x 54" canvas in gold and oil. Klimt took three years to complete it.

Adele died in 1925 and when the Nazis took over Austria they confiscated the painting. It wound up in the Austrian State Gallery.
Adele’s niece sued the Austrian government for restitution of this and five other paintings. She was aided in her quest by an American lawyer. This is the basis for a new movie called "Woman in Gold" showing at Tropic Cinema.

In it, a determined young lawyer named E. Randal Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds in a serious role at last) helps Maria Altman (Dame Helen Mirren, of course) retrieve this famous painting. It’s a courtroom drama with an international flavor.

Others in the cast include Katie Holms, Daniel Brühl, Elizabeth McGovern, Frances Fisher, Charles Dance, and Jonathan Pryce -- with Antje Traue as Adele, and Moritz Bleibtreu as Gustav Klimt.

The script was penned with the real-life Randal Schoenberg’s help.
Although a hold-your-attention film, it has a few shortcomings. All the Austrian gallery owners and their lawyers are made out to be "heel-clicking Nazis in all but name and uniform." Ryan Reynolds is too goy for the role of a Jewish descendant from two Austrian composers. And director Simon Curtis is sometimes heavy handed in his retelling of this historical pastiche.

But Mirren is magnificent in this feel-good tale of social injustice set right.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Actors of fully Jewish background: Logan Lerman, Natalie Portman, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Mila Kunis, Bar Refaeli, James Wolk, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Julian Morris, Adam Brody, Esti Ginzburg, Kat Dennings, Gabriel Macht, Erin Heatherton, Odeya Rush, Anton Yelchin, Paul Rudd, Scott Mechlowicz, Lisa Kudrow, Lizzy Caplan, Emmanuelle Chriqui, Gal Gadot, Debra Messing, Robert Kazinsky, Melanie Laurent, Shiri Appleby, Justin Bartha, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Margarita Levieva, Elizabeth Berkley, Halston Sage, Seth Gabel, Corey Stoll, Mia Kirshner, Alden Ehrenreich, Eric Balfour, Jason Isaacs, Jon Bernthal, William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy.

Andrew Garfield and Aaron Taylor-Johnson are Jewish, too (though I don’t know if both of their parents are).

Actors with Jewish mothers and non-Jewish fathers: Jake Gyllenhaal, Dave Franco, James Franco, Scarlett Johansson, Daniel Day-Lewis, Daniel Radcliffe, Alison Brie, Eva Green, Joaquin Phoenix, River Phoenix, Emmy Rossum, Rashida Jones, Jennifer Connelly, Sofia Black D’Elia, Nora Arnezeder, Goldie Hawn, Ginnifer Goodwin, Amanda Peet, Eric Dane, Jeremy Jordan, Joel Kinnaman, Ben Barnes, Patricia Arquette, Kyra Sedgwick, Dave Annable, Ryan Potter.

Actors with Jewish fathers and non-Jewish mothers, who themselves were either raised as Jews and/or identify as Jews: Ezra Miller, Gwyneth Paltrow, Alexa Davalos, Nat Wolff, Nicola Peltz, James Maslow, Josh Bowman, Winona Ryder, Michael Douglas, Ben Foster, Jamie Lee Curtis, Nikki Reed, Zac Efron, Jonathan Keltz, Paul Newman.

Oh, and Ansel Elgort’s father is Jewish, though I don’t know how Ansel was raised. Robert Downey, Jr. and Sean Penn were also born to Jewish fathers and non-Jewish mothers. Armie Hammer and Chris Pine are part Jewish.

Actors with one Jewish-born parent and one parent who converted to Judaism: Dianna Agron, Sara Paxton (whose father converted, not her mother), Alicia Silverstone, Jamie-Lynn Sigler.