2016 | Biography, Drama, History
The story of a team of African-American women mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the US space program. Continue reading
Reviewed by Naomi
Woman in Gold, starring Helen Mirren and Ryan Reynolds, is based on the true story and novel The Lady in Gold by Anne-Marie O’Connor.
During World War II millions of dollars of valuables and art was stolen from Jewish families by the Nazis. Maria Altmann’s family’s collection of prized Gustav Klimt paintings was among them, including a treasured painting of Altmann’s Aunt, Adele Bloch-Bauer. In the interceding years between the war and theft and the movie-present-day, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer became to Austria what the Mona Lisa is to France. Undeterred, Maria is determined to fight for her family’s paintings which she believes to be rightfully hers. She enlists a friend’s son, a young lawyer to take on this juggernaut of a case.
The story is dealt with in good humour and sincerity. I found the interactions between Mirren and Reynold’s characters particularly compelling and layered. This is a drama, but it is with a light touch!
Helen Mirren is marvellous in most things. If you are a fan of her, you will be a fan of this film.
A week later, I bought a book on art restitution from the second world war. So interesting.
Review by Naomi
Wild is the movie adaptation of the book by Cheryl Strayed. Cheryl’s life is headed down a destructive path; reckless behaviour, drugs, infidelity and marriage breakdown but she decides she will hike the Pacific Coast Trail alone and use the experience to pull herself together. The timeline jumps around, telling her back-story even as she begins the trek. Her completely inadequate knowledge of hiking becomes apparent very quickly. Initially her adventuress and foolhardy spirit is admirable, but her inexperience is jarring. What I really liked about the film was that when she was out on her own in the wilderness, her reckless choices leading to consequences to be felt by herself alone, there was nobody else there to pick up the pieces, so she had to. It’s hard to sympathise with her character, but I still wanted to see her succeed.
The scenery is amazing and the sequences with no dialogue are pretty powerful. Although these scenes are a feature in the film, Cheryl does cross paths with various people, some who frighten her, encourage her, even some help lighten her load – physically and metaphorically.
…if you liked Castaway, The Way, Into The Wild.
I love the outdoors and need to spend more time wandering there.
Review by – Naomi
This is the quirky true story of a young woman with Autism and how she overcomes her struggles throughout her schooling and home life to grow up to live an independent, fruitful life. It was heartbreaking to see the kind of adversity she faced, but it felt so good whenever she had a win. Temple thinks in pictures and slowly learns to use her unconventional way of thinking to help her cope with the world and attempts to win over her detractors with her highly logical systems.
…you love a feelgood, underdog film.
I just felt happy, this was such a great movie! It made me think how great it is that there is a place for everyone in the world, you just have to find where your strengths are best spent.