What surprised me the most about Woman in Gold was how much it was about the war. That might sound stupid, but I’d mainly thought about the process of getting a stolen work of art back now, long after the war. And the trailer had been mostly lighthearted, with clever and amusing lines.
Don’t misunderstand me; I believe the film was better for all its background, reminding us – and in the case of Daughter, showing for the first time – of what went on in Austria not only during the war, but before it as well. Without it, Maria Altmann could have seemed to be simply greedy and grabbing. In a way this was one of those occasions when you feel that both sides are both right and wrong. Were it not for the fact that Austria took away Maria’s right to the life she was living, when they pulled the rug out from under her feet. As I think she said, it wasn’t so much getting the painting of her aunt back, as getting some recompense for what they did to her family, breaking it up, and killing most of them.
I had looked forward to seeing more of Vienna, but in the end it was almost painful. I appreciated seeing the old Vienna, as Maria knew it when she grew up. I’m not Austrian, nor quite that old, but I could recognise some of the life she lived.
Had not realised that Daughter didn’t know what the outcome was going to be, but then it had been some years since we read about Maria and her Klimt painting in the news.
I enjoyed Woman in Gold, and more so for it being so European, and not just Hollywood gloss. Helen Mirren can do anything she puts her mind to, and Ryan Reynolds was a lovely Randol Schoenberg. Good to see so many actors employed who are not necessarily English language household names, but who were able to portray Austrians in a believable way.
Posted in Art, Film, Music, Travel
Tagged Allan Corduner, Antje Traue, Ben Miles, Charles Dance, Daniel Brühl, Elizabeth McGovern, Helen Mirren, Henry Goodman, Katie Holmes, Ludger Pistor, Max Irons, Olivia Silhavy, Ryan Reynolds, Tatiana Maslany, War
Some of you will remember Linda Sargent’s guest post about having Barnaby in her house. That’s Midsomer Murders to the rest of the world. The new Barnaby.
After a lot of waiting, A Rare Bird finally made it to our home screens a couple of weeks ago. I recorded it to watch with my own Midsomer fan, and we did so the other day. Daughter has seen some of the new Barnaby episodes, whereas I have long given up, and not ever seen cousin Barnaby in action.
At first I was glad it was someone other than John Nettles making a fool of himself, but soon I wished he was back. I have to assume they no longer wish to make a serious murder series. It’s gone beyond ridiculous, but with my foreign eyes switched on, I can understand why people across the world are so keen. It’s pretty, and it feeds our imagination as to what it’s like living in a cosy English village. Except one wouldn’t live for long, the way things are going.
So, a ridiculous tale featuring obsessed birdwatchers. The first victim was simply asking to be killed. Other characters were just odd. But it’s the police who are the strangest, and the new Barnaby is worse than his predecessor. Mrs Barnaby and the Barnaby dog are also weird.
The blue-crested hoopoe is rare, but not as rare as those twitchers thought. Quite sweet, it was, when it finally turned up. Swan Lake, a pond, ballerinas, the village gigolo and a surprisingly sensible DS Jones (it must be the company he keeps) made up the rest of the episode.
What I find fascinating is how much effort goes into filming just a small part, as witnessed by Linda. The sheer cost of making a programme like Midsomer must be quite something, but then so are sales to other countries, I imagine.
Long may Midsomer live! (Well, you know what I mean.)
Posted in Crime, Television
Tagged Alexander Hanson, Allan Corduner, Amanda Lawrence, Fiona Dolman, Genevieve O'Reilly, James Dreyfus, Jason Hughes, John Nettles, Linda Sargent, Midsomer Murders, Neil Dudgeon, Nicholas Boulton, Paul Bigley, Paul Nicholls, Tony Haygarth