Suite Française (2014)

Suite Française
Director: Saul Dibb
Writer: Saul Dibb, Matt Charman
Based on: Irène Némirovsky‘s (unfinished) novels
Cast: Michelle WilliamsMatthias Schoenaerts, Kristin Scott Thomas, Margot Robbie, Eric Godon, Deborah Findlay, Ruth Wilson, Sam Riley, Tom Schilling, Harriet Walter, Eileen Atkins
Seen on: 18.1.2016

Plot:
Lucile (Michelle Williams) lives with her mother-in-law Madame Angellier (Kristin Scott Thomas). The Angelliers are one of the richest families in the areas and Madame Angellier sees no reason not to continue getting her share from the farmers who work her lands just because it’s war time. Lucile – whose husband is a soldier – doesn’t like that strictness and harshness, their relationship is tense. Their situation grows even more difficult when the Germans reach their village and office Bruno von Falck (Matthias Schoenaerts) is placed in their home. Madame Angellier insists on ignoring him, but Lucile feels drawn to Bruno after she discovers that they share a passion for music.

Suite Française is a strong film although it didn’t quite manage to blow me away. Still, it’s a touching story with a strong cast and I wouldn’t have minded seeing more of them at all.

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Woman in Gold (2015)

Woman in Gold
Director: Simon Curtis
Writer: Alexi Kaye Campbell
Cast: Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Brühl, Katie Holmes, Tatiana Maslany, Max Irons, Charles Dance, Antje Traue, Elizabeth McGovern, Frances Fisher, Moritz Bleibtreu, Tom Schilling, Justus von Dohnányi, Olivia Silhavy, Ludger Pistor
Seen on: 8.6.2015

Plot:
Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren/Tatiana Maslany) had to flee Austria during the Second World War because she’s Jewish, and has never returned there since she was exiled to the USA and lost most of her family to the Nazis. But after the death of her sister, Maria realizes that she has the responsibility to guard her family’s memories. And part of those memories is the painting of her aunt Adele (Antje Traue), painted by Gustav Klimt (Moritz Bleibtreu), that the Nazsi took from her home and that is now hanging in a federal Austrian museum. As the Austrian government just started hearing restitution claims, Maria asks lawyer Randol Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds) for help with recovering that painting. They even travel to Austria together, where they meet journalist Hubertus Czernin (Daniel Brühl) who warns them that the Austrian government won’t be cooperative. That proves to be right and Maria and Randy have to dig in for a long fight.

After I read the first reviews, I didn’t expect Woman in Gold to be any good. But I was pleasantly surprised: it’s an engaging and well-made film that is only marred by the German used in the film.

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