The true story of a decade-long fight to recover a famous Viennese painting plundered by the invading Nazis at the start of the Second World War, Woman in Gold refers colloquially to the artwork itself. Officially titled Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, this gorgeous Byzantine fantasia completed with gold leaf by artist Gustav Klimt in 1907 lends a unique historical and visual angle to this latest reminder of atrocities against an entire culture. Helen Mirren plays the grumpy niece of Bloch-Bauer, who recruits Ryan Reynolds’s rookie lawyer to help her claim the stolen picture from the Austrian government and place it in LA where she now lives. It’s a fascinating legal yarn that provides director Simon Curtis with harrowing Anschluss flashbacks and modern-day showboating at the Supreme Court. Although it’s a little vanilla in tone, I was surprised to find Reynolds more convincing than Mirren.
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