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Woman in Gold | 2015 | PG-13 | - 1.4.5

Based on a true story: A Jewish Holocaust survivor (Helen Mirren) in Los Angeles hires an attorney (Ryan Reynolds) to sue the government of Austria for a famous painting that belonged to her aunt. The Austrian government contends that the painting is a state treasure and the case goes all the way to the US Supreme Court. Also with Daniel Bruhl, Katie Holmes, Elizabeth McGovern, Antje Traue and Jonathan Pryce. Directed by Simon Curtis. [1:49]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - A married woman is pregnant, her belly noticeably swollen under her stretchy clothing as she walks into a bedroom where she tells her husband that her water broke (we do not see it) and asks him to drive her to the hospital.
 A man and a woman lie clothed in bed, reading a letter.
 A woman wears a snug, short dress that reveals cleavage and most of her thighs.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - WWII violence appears in flashbacks to a Jewish woman's childhood and adolescence in Vienna during the Nazi invasion: a long, wide parade of Nazi and Gestapo personnel and vehicles drives down the street with crowds cheering and returning Nazi salutes as Jewish businesses are shuttered and Gestapo agents slam clubs against walls near peoples' heads, and make shop owners paint "JEW" on doors and windows; Nazis push men and women into the backs of army trucks and Nazis push a wealthy Jewish family to the sidewalk and force them to use scrub brushes to wash the sidewalks and street pavement while Nazis call Jewish people "scum" and "pigs." Nazi and Gestapo men line up a group of Orthodox Jewish men and boys (one boy is about four years old), the soldier flips their hats off and cuts off their religion-mandated curls as several gentiles sneer, shout and give the Hitler salute.
 A woman and her new husband are taken to a pharmacy by a Gestapo guard and flee out the back door; the shop owner shouts at them and the Gestapo man chases them with Nazi backup until the husband kicks the Gestapo man in the neck and shoulders to get rid of him and the couple runs through streets and alleys, jumps into the back of a car and rides to the airport; Nazis shoot handguns at the car, but hit only the bumper and at the airport they must wait several hours outside their airplane in a snowstorm as Gestapo agents pull two men from the line, arrest them and take them away.
 Several men and women in their 80s and 90s testify before the Supreme Court about the killings and thefts in their families during the Nazi Invasion of Austria and about subsequent death camp incarceration of relatives that were never seen again; the witnesses tremble and speak with shaky voices (the testimony is not graphic, but we hear about death several times). An elderly woman tells friends that her whole family was killed, except for her sister in America, and that all her friends were killed; Nazis and the Austrian state gallery stole the family's house, furnishings, artworks, diamonds, Stradivarius cello, silver and gold and Hitler himself took many of the objects. An Austrian investigative journalist tells American friends that he has exposed many atrocities of the Nazi regime and the Austrian government in his work in the 1990s. A man tells friends that at age 15 he learned that his father was a long-time Nazi.
 The Austrian government and art-restitution officials are repeatedly rude to an elderly woman who is attempting to recover her art pieces, illegally taken by the Belvedere Gallery in Vienna; a few scenes show the officials in heated arguments with the woman and her attorney and with every court defeat one official becomes ruder to the woman. An irritated court spectator approaches an elderly woman on the courthouse steps and tells her that not everything is about the Holocaust and she should drop her case (she does not). An elderly woman argues with her attorney several times; one argument escalates into loud shouting and profanity.
 A wife and her sick, elderly husband say goodbye to their adult daughter as she prepares to flee the Nazis in the late 1930s; the three people cry loudly and hug. An elderly woman cries in a meeting room, remembering her deceased relatives lost in the Holocaust.
 A woman receives a telegram that her father died and she trembles. An elderly woman stands beside the open grave of her sister where we see a Star of David on the wooden casket; she says goodbye and shovels in a trowel of dirt. An older woman is afraid to return to Austria, even 60 years after she fled from certain concentration camp imprisonment; she points to a portrait of a woman she says died in one of the camps. A woman says that her aunt died young of meningitis. An attorney says that his great-grandparents suffered and died in Treblinka.
 An attorney loses his job, neglects his wife and three children and becomes financially strapped for at least two years of drawn out court battles.
 A woman spits on a pair of glasses to clean them, but we do not see any spit. An attorney runs into a men's room, slams his hand on a wall made of stone and cries after seeing the Holocaust Memorial in Vienna; he cries and gasps, as if he will vomit, but does not do so. A wife becomes dizzy during a dance at a wedding and her husband catches her.


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LANGUAGE 5 - At least 1 F-word, 1 scatological term, 1 mild obscenity, name-calling (Jews, Jewish pigs, Jewish scum, Jewish boys, schoolboys, skinny boy, dreamer, headstrong, rude, uncouth, crazy), stereotypical references to men, women, senior citizens, lawyers, judges, reporters, investigative journalists, gallery owners, corrupt government officials, Holocaust deniers, Jews, Nazis, Gestapo soldiers, 1 religious profanity (GD), 4 religious exclamations (Oh My God, For God's Sake, God Knows, Mazel Tov).


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SUBSTANCE USE - A Viennese pharmacy contains many lines of bottles of unlabeled medications. A decanter of brandy is seen on a side table in a room and two men pour and drink a glass each, a beer bottle is seen on a desk and a man drinks a bottle of beer on a back deck of a house, a man drinks a bottle of beer and other men and women drink from short glasses of fruit-containing cocktails at a deck party, two men and a woman drink short glasses of whiskey while sitting on a couch in a hotel and we see a glimpse of some liquor bottles on a wall, a woman in a car says that she wants to buy Cognac in the Duty Free shop at an airport, and men and women hold champagne and drink at a wedding. A Gestapo agent smokes a cigarette in a house and holds a box of cigarettes on a street corner.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - War crimes, stolen art treasures, the Holocaust, genocide, bigotry, Nazis, murder, loss, grief, justice, international courts, restitution to Jews for Nazi and government crimes.

MESSAGE - Jewish Holocaust survivors are still recovering property and using its proceeds to help others.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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