“Woman in Gold” is an important motion picture, which some reviewers are selling short. A plot driven movie that brings to life aspects of the holocaust ought to survive, to be seen by future generations. Documentaries don’t get much attention when first released, and don’t attract viewers generations later. Creating a movie that will have broad appeal decades from now assures today’s remaining survivors that future generations world-wide will grasp the magnitude of what European Jewry experienced. Directorial skill requires incorporating not only top acting talent but fidelity to the documented history, great visuals of important places not commonly seen, dramatic archival footage skillfully interwoven, and a window into deeply felt emotions by believable protagonists of heroic stature. These are the cinematic elements that create a great movie with broad appeal: an artistic creation.
Reviewers are free to identify perceived weaknesses and fail to judge the work as one director’s unique artistic creation. His cuts , his nuances , his choices…to best be judged as a whole. Not unlike a painting. Deciding what movie to see should involve critical questioning of the reviewer before making choices. Rotten Tomatoes or a local second stringer can be worthless.
We have been exposed to numerous documentary films, TV specials, synagogue and community commemorations. Jews may feel attendance is mandatory. What a superior art form theater and film can be! Why drag teenagers to dreary events when the lessons to be learned will be seared into their memory banks by the art form they prefer to see.
Fine acting with great direction allowed minor characters including Austrian functionaries and Nazi soldiers to tell the sad story of anti-Semitism in modern day Austria. How much more effective a single slur or gesture can be than a lecture!
No visit to the Neue Museum in NY should be without first seeing this film.