Day 187: Woman In Gold (2015)

woman in goldI figured since I watched two films in a row that were both based on true stories that I would go for a third in a row. The film I chose to watch is called Woman In Gold and it stars Helen Mirren (The Queen) as Maria Altmann, an Austrian woman who was forced to leave her home during the invasion of the Nazis in the 1940’s. In her home was a very expensive painting of her aunt Adele Bloch-Bauer (Antje Traue) that was commissioned by Gustav Klimt that was taken by the Nazis and brought to a museum in Austria. Now it’s over 50 years later and Maria wants her painting back so that she can reclaim what is rightfully hers to begin with. So, she hires a young lawyer by the name of Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds) who risks everything to try and make Maria happy. The film also stars Katie Holmes (Batman Begins) as Pam Schoenberg, Daniel Brühl (Captain America: Civil War) as Hubertus Czernin, Tatiana Maslany (The Vow) as Young Maria Altmann, Max Irons (The Host) as Fritz Altmann, Charles Dance (Last Action Hero) as Sherman, Allan Corduner (Defiance) as Gustav Bloch-Bauer, and the film was directed by Simon Curtis (My Week With Marilyn).

womanI was having a conversation with someone earlier about Ryan Reynolds and what we love seeing him in. Deadpool was such a natural role for him just as much as Waiting or Van Wilder were. I couldn’t take him serious enough in the Amityville remake, but I can see him in roles like Self/Less and definitely in this one. He was given a chance to hang with an actress like Helen Mirren and I think he did a pretty good job with it. There were times when his serious acting were a little shaky, but he would always bounce back nicely. Helen Mirren was masterful as usual in her performance as the tough and rugged Maria Altmann, but there is one moment that stands out to me. She was this tough cookie throughout the whole film, but for a moment she emotionally breaks down and the walls come tumbling down. After years of constantly fighting the negative aspects of her life, she was finally able to let go and move on remembering the good times. I want to give a shout out to Daniel Brühl who might have had a minor role in the film, but he was also masterful. The gold leaf painting itself is remarkable and to find an actress that kind of looks like the woman in gold was a good catch as well. It’s not the best film in the world, but it’s a very good one that tells a take of redemption and restitution. I am going to give the Woman In Gold an B+ for a final grade. Check out the painting below:

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Day 107: Eye In The Sky (2015)

Eye_in_the_Sky_2015_film_posterI was truly saddened earlier this year when I heard about the death of actor Alan Rickman (Galaxy Quest). So when I heard he had one more film where he makes a physical appearance (he still has one voice over film to be released), I had to see it and that film is called Eye In The Sky. Col. Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) is a commanding military officer running an operation to capture or kill terrorists in the African country of Kenya. The latest mission she has features two high profile targets and some suicide bombers so she gets the mission which is a joint one between the Americans, British, and Kenyan special forces ready to go. Well, there is one problem in the whole plan, a little girl selling bread gets in the way of their mission and it sparks a huge debate over who will authorize the strike or not. The film also stars Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) as Steve Watts, Alan Rickman as LT. Gen. Frank Benson, Babou Ceesay (Severance) as SGT. Mushtaq Saddiq, Barkhad Abdi (Captain Phillips) as Jama Farah, Lex King (The Gamechangers) as Susan Danford, Richard McCabe (The Duchess) as George Matherson, Gavin Hood (Tsotsi) as Lt. Colonel Ed Walsh, and the film was directed by Gavin Hood as well.

download (2)Here’s the thing about Eye In The Sky and unless you are into topics like war, drone attacks, etc. then you may not like this film. The film should have had suspense attached to it because it’s more that than thriller. There is a lot of back and forth when it comes time to push the button and I get it if that’s how it actually works, but it’s annoying. There is so much, “hey do we have authorization?” “I don’t want to make that decision, let’s refer up” and “Why are you bothering me, do it”. This goes on for most of the film as Helen Mirren and Alan Rickman’s characters are pleading for them to let them do this. One thing I will say that the film does is that it makes Americans look like we are insensitive cowboys who want to get all of the terrorists no matter the risk. It definitely makes the British look as if they are more sensitive and humane then we are. You’ll have to see it for yourself to know what I am talking about, but like I said not a very exciting film for me. While it is cool to see what happens behind closed doors and to see all the cool camera gadgets they have in the world to spy on people, it just didn’t interest me enough. I am however glad that I did get to see Alan Rickman on screen one more time. So with that being said, I am going to give the film an B- for a final grade.