Woman in Gold may not be as powerful of a drama as I’m sure the Weinstein’s wanted or expected considering the subject and starring Helen Mirren, but even so, it’s still well done with solid performances all around. The Blu-ray released by Anchor Bay has an OK selection of bonus material while the video/audio transfers are both great.
Woman in Gold
Anchor Bay | PG13 – 109 min. – $34.99 | July 7, 2015
THE MOVIE – 3.75/5
Woman in Gold tells the serious and often unknown story of more atrocities that occurred during the invasion of Germany and Nazis into Austria where Jewish families were oft kicked out of their homes and their cherished possessions confiscated (stolen) to be sold or distributed amongst the Nazis. Although the pacing is quick and doesn’t take its time to give the drama moments to gestate, it’s still a very well made and earnest film propelled by the performances.
Plot Outline: Sixty years after she fled Vienna during World War II, an elderly Jewish woman, Maria Altmann (HELEN MIRREN), starts her journey to retrieve family possessions seized by the Nazis, among them Gustav Klint’s famous painting Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I. Together with her inexperienced but plucky young lawyer Randy Schoenberg (RYAN REYNOLDS), she embarks upon a major battle which takes them all the way to the heart of the Austrian establishment and the U.S. Supreme Court, and forces her to confront difficult truths about the past along the way.
The film, despite is short breadth, is very well made under the eye of Simon Curtis whose previous film, My Week With Marilyn didn’t exactly light the world on fire nor was it a particularly good movie, though Michelle Williams does her best as Monroe. With Woman in Gold, certainly it could’ve been a far better movie and a far more emotional one, though there were times it got to the edge of greatness, mainly due to the cast, before taking a backseat to being a merely fine drama. However, I doubt this is what the Weinstein’s wanted because casting a legendary actress and combining her with WWII drama, one would expect it to be award-bait.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.5/5
Audio Commentary – Executive Producer/Director Simon Curtis and Producer David M. Thompson sit down for an informative and interesting track breaking down the various stories and working with the cast, in particular, Helen Mirren.
The Making of Woman in Gold (23:41; HD) – This featurette provides behind-the-scenes footage and interviews with the cast and crew as they discuss the true story behind the plot as well as the characters.
Neue Galerie New York Press Conference (10:38; HD) was held in 2015 in celebration of the painting.
Stealing Klint Documentary Trailer (2:39; HD)
VIDEO – 4.5/5
Anchor Bay releases Woman in Gold onto Blu-ray presented in its original 2.39 theatrical aspect ratio and given a standard but pleasing 1080p high-definition transfer. The color spectrum of this movie wildly varies from colder tones when the Nazis arrive to rich gold tints for some of the happier times while the present time (in the film) looks natural. Detail levels are nice and sharp and there didn’t appear to be any major or noticeable aliasing, artifacts or other flaws.
AUDIO – 4.5/5
While it’s nothing extraordinary nor does it contain anything expansive, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track is more than serviceable providing for excellent dialogue levels throughout, though the bulk of that is via the center channel. The track does show some depth courtesy of Martin Phipps and Hans Zimmer’s dramatic score as well as the occasional war-time scenes.
OVERALL – 3.5/5
Overall, Woman in Gold may not be as powerful of a drama as I’m sure the Weinstein’s wanted or expected considering the subject and starring Helen Mirren, but even so, it’s still well done with solid performances all around. The Blu-ray released by Anchor Bay has an OK selection of bonus material while the video/audio transfers are both great.
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.