Woman in Gold (G) ****

Woman in Gold

Precious !

Gold standard entertainment seems a given whenever Helen Mirren graces the screen. Tradition continues as her presence is riveting in Woman in Gold. Serious and thoughtful this masterfully acted drama from EOne Entertainment is inspiring audiences at The Fifth Avenue Theatre.

Nothing is more serious than The Holocaust. War can be horrific and this story takes place in 1930s Austria and modern day Los Angeles. Born into privilege of sorts is Maria Altmann. Dame Helen Mirren (The Queen) plays the older Jewish woman who we learn had loving parents and relatives who were successful business people before Hitler arrived. In their Austrian home valuable works of art resided until the Nazis took them. Now the aging forced exile wants them back. One particular painting of a gold woman is at the heart of Mrs. Altman’s childhood dreams and old age haunting nightmares.

Aided by rookie California lawyer Randol Schoenberg the pair form a rather uncomfortable alliance in a bid to wrest control of one particular work of art from the powers that be in present day Austria. Vancouver born Ryan Reynolds nails the part of the nerdy legal ace who must pull out all the stops to help his client do what’s morally right.

Justice, morality and the pain of aging contribute to the flawless telling of this unforgettable story. Based on real people and true events Woman in Gold is a riveting trip down memory lane with terrific heartfelt performances.

By Robert Waldman