Compelling portrayal of a true story.
Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren) enlists the help of lawyer Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds) to rightfully get a painting of her aunt back. After having it stolen by the Nazis, it continued to stay in Vienna in a museum for art and has become an icon, making it harder for Altmann to obtain it. The film juxtaposes scenes of the past with the present and shows how young Maria (Tatiana Maslany) and her husband Fritz (Max Irons) used to live. Directed by Simon Curtis.
I have an affinity for historical stories, and the juxtaposition of the past and the present in this is something that was superbly done. The transitions between the two times seem so effortless and natural like the slow pan of a camera, and it wasn’t disorienting at all.
Irons and Maslany have great chemistry and did a great job acting wise. Mirren and Reynolds too did really well, but to be honest I don’t really understand Reynolds’ character much. His look and demeanour is sometimes that of a shy, awkward person, but he isn’t really like that plus the fact that he’s a lawyer makes it a little more confusing since lawyers are mostly the opposite. Or maybe it was Reynold’s acting… On the other hand Mirren gives an outstanding performance and accurately captures the emotions of her character that the audience cannot help but feel for her.
The decorations and costumes – especially that of the past, was really intricate and detailed. A very artsy kind of atmosphere with many valued belongings, which makes me wonder what the father/ father’s brother did for a living but we never really find out.
Also, though the storyline is not complicated, I kind of lost track with the legal procedures for a little bit. They go through many sort of ‘trials’, but it got clearer as the film went on.
PROS: Portrayal, juxtaposition of two times, decorations
CONS: Reynold’s character, legal procedures
I give this an 8/10.
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