Two movies I loved this year


woman-in-gold_posterI watched the Woman in Gold this weekend. I loved this movie, don’t worry there will be no spoilers. Actually I lied there will be spoilers but you will have to highlight the text to see them. The movie is based on a true story of a woman trying to reclaim a portrait of her aunt that the Austrian government has in their possession. I loved watching Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, and Tatiana Maslany. Tatiana Maslany is one of my favorite actors, the main character in orphan black. Which if you haven’t seen I highly recommend.

Highlight for spoilers:

This movie has a few stories. The primary story centers around Maria Altmann(played by Helen Mirren/Tatiana Maslany) living in Austria. We watch her learn so much from her aunt. And then watch her fleeing Austria from the nazis leaving her parents behind.
The second story is about Maria and Randy Schoenberg(her friends son) an attorney work to reclaim artwork that was seized by the nazis that was currently in the Austrian governments possession. The story explains that the Austrian government is trying to improve it’s image by writing the wrongs of the past by changing the Art Restitution handling. But as the main characters soon discover, it is only for PR purposes. We follow the characters try to provide additional information for their case, and the Austrian government simply not care. After all the government doesn’t want to give away the now famous artwork.
There was arguably a third minor story that is about Randy Schoenberg’s career. He starts out as an inexperienced attorney, who initially only looks into the case because of the amount of money the artwork is worth. But after one trip to Austria, he knows what he needs to do. He quits his job to pursue the case full time. The case ends up giving him career clarity, and at the end of the film his field of expertise is art restitution. It was amazing watching the case first show up in California, then the Supreme Court, only to voluntarily go back to vienna for a trial by arbitration. Watching a smug government official lose at every step is very rewarding.

After reflecting I realized that Helen Mirren was also in another movie that I loved earlier this year. I have to give her props for making me dislike the character so much.
trumbo The movie is Trumbo. This movie follows Dalton Trumbo through the Mc Carthy era. I found this movie awesome for similar reasons; the subject is fighting for their rights. Trumbo is such a witty like able character(played amazingly well by Bryan Cranston) you can’t help but root for him. I learned so much about the writer, as well as other famous people during that time.

Highlight for spoilers:

This movie was refreshing in that it was honest about what people did. John Wayne is often considered an American hero, but in this movie he is clearly not. After watching the movie, I found out that the Dalton’s daughter was responsible for making the movie accurate. There was no apology/makeup between John and Dalton and original parts of the film or screen play indicated that they made up, and the daughter is responsible for having the movie corrected.
I found myself rooting for Dalton as he works his around the blacklist. It was also rewarding watching him win oscars for the brave one, and roman holiday. Especially since the names were either made up or there was a front person who pretended to do the writing. Watching his house become a busy hub for his underground writing network. It becomes more enjoyable watching Edna, and John Wayne fail to oppress the writers in the end. In the end Dalton wins because he left such an amazing legacy. Edna was probably forgotten before this movie, and will likely be forgotten again.

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