Inspiré a true story, the WOMAN AT THE TABLE is one of those treasure hunts we never get tired of. A Los Angeles, in a 1998 more authentic than nature, Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds) is a young lawyer promising although somewhat sure of himself. His path crosses with that of Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), a refugee jewish austria after the Anschluss, that following the death of her sister, found in his papers, correspondence that can make you think that their aunt, the late Adele Bloch-Bauer (Antje Traue), they would have left some works of Art. It did not matter which. If Adele had turned on a lamp at the bottom end of your skull, the point of concern. It is in effect the subject’s refined one of the most famous paintings of the painter Gustav Klimt, heroin and gold symbol of his country.
A symbol yet of evading the family Altmann by the nazi authorities, happy to get their hands on such loot. As the Twentieth century ended, a Maria in his eighties, therefore, to the reconquest of his buried past and the objects that it contained. An arm of iron with the Gallery Belvedere Vienna later, the painting returns to new law and it is sold for $ 135 million to the Neue Galerie in New York, where it is still exposed today (I even had the chance to admire during a recent visit to the Big Apple).
The case Republic of Austria v. Altmann, reviewed in 2004 by the Supreme Court of the United States, was cooked for Hollywood, which has taken over the case without too much dither. Yet again, Hollywood rewrites the Story, adding to its wealth of emotion felt good, and of the changing situation. What we are witnessing is the transformation of the caterpillar Schoenberg into a butterfly, the little lawyer shy in Atticus Finch, the tenor of the bar camped by Gregory Peck in the classic 1962, in The silence and shadows (highly recommend !). Here, not African-American unjustly accused of rape, but these sharks Art historians, who claim to act in the best defending tooth and nail the interests of the museum.
Helen Mirren covers a role of old lady with a big heart, which is not without reminding us of its excellent Elizabeth II, the actress who has already embodied the sovereign british in the tumultuous biopic of Stephen Frears, The Queen (another recommendation by the way !). Of course, it has the method. His game is calibrated for the scenario archi ran this judicial battle, this kind of ‘courtroom drama’ in the original version, as the american cinema knows only really do with it. However, the hare-brained epic procedural of this duo in the Harold and Maude breathes too much of the perfume marked the high-budget productions (The Weinstein Company is behind this one too). Maria Altmann is necessarily endearing. The system oppresses and does not condone never to have sent her parents to the death camp, Polish Bełżec.
“Again, Hollywood rewrites History…”
The proposed approach to the question of artistic works and of the possession of those goods is much more interesting. Beyond Austria v. Altmann, the Court led by the conservative judge Rehnquist has set a precedent by allowing an individual looted to see reason in the face of a State. Art should be lived as an experience of selfish so far, this is the pitfall. Of course, Frau Altmann will have recovered, and in fact, his property. But by itself, it would have quite been able to deprive the thousands of simple anonymous come to contemplate the beauty of the genius of Klimt, like so many other masterpieces now found in museums and of which one would imagine not deprive the public. If the portrait of Adele is out of place at the Neue Gallery, several paintings acquired by Maria Altmann in the same batch, in contrast, have failed in auctions, now invisible because purchased by individuals for their enchantment staff. The WOMAN AT THE TABLE is the opportunity to reaffirm this need. Yes, justice must be done in the face of the tragedies of the past. But however, Art, by its uselessness, and, paradox, his great necessity in the exploration of the human soul and of all absolutes, must be accessible to the greatest number. This certainly explains the attitude of the purchaser of a second portrait of Adele by Klimt, who in 2014 has agreed to a loan of long duration at the Metropolitan Museum.
Finally, in his essay on the Spiritual in art (a final recommendation on the way, one of the best theoretical works on the art, in my humble opinion !), published in 1912, Wassily Kandinsky wrote : “the spiritual life, to which art also belongs […], movement is a complicated but definite and easily simplified. […] It is the movement of knowledge, which, in whatever form it takes, keeps the same deep meaning and the same purpose. “Need more arguments after such a surge. For that one evening, in Manhattan, everyone will be able to dive into the soft eyes of Adele. Has infinity.
The other outputs of the 15 July 2015
• Realization : Simon Curtis
• Scenario : Amexi Kaye Campbell
• Main actors : Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Brühl, Katie Holmes, Tatiana Maslany
• Country of origin : United Kingdom, United States
• Released : July 15, 2015
• Duration : 1h49
• Distributor : The Weinstein Company, BBC Films
• Synopsis :An octogenarian confronts the ghosts of his past by seeking to recover a painting by Gustav Klimt, representing her aunt Adele. Inspired to make real.