Starring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds.
This is a true story about a an elderly Jewish woman – Maria Altman , played by Helen Mirren – who embarks on a quest to reclaim valuable family artworks including a world famous painting in oil, silver and gold of her aunt – ‘Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer 1’ by Gustav Klimt – stolen by the Nazis during WW2.
She hires a young inexperienced lawyer who risks his newly acquired job with a reputable law firm to help Maria fight the Austrian Government and the gallery who held not only this particular painting but many works that were stolen from their Jewish owners during the war. The gallery refused to return the stolen works to their owners or acknowledge a theft had taken place.
The ensuing legal battle took 7 years to seek justice not just for Maria’s own family but for all her fellow Jews who lost their lives or suffered at the hands of the Nazis.
The court case ended with an arbitration committee agreeing that the painting along with other works had in fact been stolen by the Nazis and should be returned to their rightful owners. The painting was eventually sold for $135 million but the justice hard won by Maria and her legal team was priceless.
I enjoyed this movie very much not just because I am a fan of Helen Mirren’s acting but also because it was a fascinating and emotional story of one aspect of holocaust and its terrible sufferings as well as of hope.