Tag Archives: genre: history

Fast Five Review: Woman in Gold (2015)



 Reviewed by Naomi

1. Did you like it?


2. Why/Why not?

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!

3. “You would enjoy this film if…”

Helen Mirren is marvellous in most things. If you are a fan of her, you will be a fan of this film.

4. “This film made me think…”

A week later, I bought a book on art restitution from the second world war. So interesting.

5. Stars out of five?


Fast Five Review: Vikings Season 1 (2013)



1. Did you like it?


2. Why/Why not?

I have been meaning to get into Vikings because I’d heard it was a great show.  The first couple of episodes were a bit disappointing, but by the third I was hooked.  It follows the exploits of Ragnar Lodbrok, a viking who dares to lead raiders to the west against the wishes of the leader of his clan, Earl Haraldson.  I loved getting to know the characters, particularly the women who actually had some depth fleshed out – which is uncommon in these kinds of stories.  It was also interesting to learn, bit by bit, about the priest as he learns about the foreign gods of the vikings, all the while trying to hold to his own faith.

3. You would enjoy this TV Series if…

…you like action and political intrigue!  The costumes are great, the scenery had me pining for the Fjords, and the actor who plays the main character, Ragnar Lodbrok is Aussie Travis Fimmel.  The Vikings seem largely ignored in recent movies and pop culture, so it’s nice to see this immersive story.

4. This TV Series made me think…

…that shieldmaidens were cool.  It also prompted me to look up how much of the series is historically correct – my inner history nerd.

5. Stars out of five?

A solid 4.