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
Never having read the crime novels by John Sandford I have no way of knowing how well the film Certain Prey matches the book. The reviews I’ve seen suggest it’s great. Or pretty bad. It’ll be one or the other, I suppose, or else somewhere in between.
I quite enjoyed it, for a typical slick looking, glossy US television crime drama. Many years ago I would have thought it was fantastic, whereas with age I have to say you get what it says on the tin. I only watched it because it had Mark Harmon as the detective, Lucas Davenport. (OK, maybe a little because he’s called Davenport.)
Sometimes it would be refreshing to have a detective who is not independently wealthy, handsome and irresistible to women, as well as successful with the detecting. Someone seemed to find Mark Harmon’s background narrator’s voice irritating, but it’s what you do in classic hardboiled detective stories, so it was fairly standard. And you can’t very well change the main character totally from what the author had in mind, however ridiculous.
There was a fun bit on art and Mick Jagger, and an interesting encounter with a State Trooper. Couldn’t believe Davenport didn’t recognise his killer when they met, but it made the film last longer. And it’s weird how both this pilot and the first episode of NCIS involved Wichita airport. Both probably fake.
Slightly confusing with all the characters and their relationships with each other, seeing as how this is the tenth book. I expect it will get easier if we have more of them. I suspect we might, because they left enough of a hook for viewers to be interested.
Posted in Books, Crime, Film, Television
Tagged Anand Rajaram, Athena Karkanis, Brett Ryan, John Sandford, Lola Glaudini, Mark Harmon, Rod Wilson, Tatiana Maslany