The fact that Holocaust victims and their descendants are attempting to reclaim art stolen by the Nazis in increasing numbers could have a huge impact—not just on museum holdings, but on the world’s ability to remember the ills of history. The case of Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren) is perhaps the most significant—along with a rookie lawyer (Ryan Reynolds, trying to hide behind khaki pants and glasses), Altmann successfully sued the Republic of Austria for the return of several Gustav Klimt paintings, including a portrait of her aunt that had become the nation’s equivalent of the Mona Lisa. That’s pretty badass, but Simon Curtis’s portrayal of the years-long battle is a plodding, oversimplified courtroom procedural spliced with pretty-but-wooden flashbacks. Content to cheerlead its protagonists, the film's refusal to engage in any reasonable way with the opposing argument is borderline irresponsible… and irresponsibly dull. The film also features Katie Holmes reprising her role as a housebound, baby-having yes-woman (109 min.).
Director: Simon Curtis
Producer: David Thompson, Kris Thykier, Christine Langan, Harvey Weinstein, Negeen Yazdi, Robert Walak, Ed Wethered, Alan Yentob and Ed Rubin
Cast: Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Brühl, Katie Holmes, Tatiana Maslany, Max Irons, Charles Dance, Elizabeth McGovern, Jonathan Pryce, Antje Traue, Moritz Bleibtreu, Tom Schilling and Frances Fisher