Woman in Gold

The Nazis’ illegal seizure of hundreds of thousands of artworks—the subject of the fine 2006 documentary The Rape of Europa—becomes the pretext for heavy-handed sentimentality in this British-American docudrama. Helen Mirren plays Maria Altmann, a wealthy Austrian Jew who fled the Nazis, settled in Los Angeles, and in the late 1990s successfully sued the Austrian government to reclaim several valuable Gustav Klimt paintings that had been seized from her family; a woefully miscast Ryan Reynolds plays the nice Jewish lawyer who agrees to represent her. The characterizations are patronizingly simple—the Austrian officials who fight Mirren in court might as well be bullies in a high school sports drama—and the ridiculously genteel depictions of the Nazis’ persecution of Jews play like Mel Brooks without the jokes. Simon Curtis (My Week With Marilyn) directed.