When reaching the goal appears to be impossible...

Directed by Simon Curtis - 2015 - UK - 109 min

Woman in Gold

2021 December 12 | by Arduino Mancini Diversity - Negotiation - Women's Stories

“Woman in Gold” tells the true story of Maria Altmann, an elderly Jew who survived the Holocaust and who discovers, on the occasion of her sister’s death, the latter’s attempt to regain ownership of a work by Gustav Klimt that belonged to her family: the portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I.

The painting is oil on canvas and the first of two paintings with the same name; it depicts the daughter of the entrepreneur Maurice Bauer, who has married the son of Baron Bloch, a wealthy sugar entrepreneur.

The painting, perfectly square (138×138 cm), is the most famous of the canvases from Klimt’s so-called “golden period” and, at the end of the war, became the symbol of the Austrian nation.

The painting is confiscated by the Nazis just to Adele Bloch-Bauer, the legitimate owner and aunt of Maria Altmann, shortly before the outbreak of World War II: the confiscation takes place as part of the persecution of the Jewish families who, throughout Europe, suffer all sorts of violence, physical and psychological.

Having learned of the story after her sister’s death, the elderly Mrs Altman decides to do everything in her power to regain ownership of the painting: a bit for revenge, a bit to provide herself and the memory of her family with a minimum compensation for what the Nazis have stolen from her.

For this, the protagonist hires the young lawyer Randy Schoenberg (grandson of the composer Arnold and also Jewish) to challenge the Austrian government and regain possession of the prestigious painting.

With what result? You’ll find out during the film.

Now watch the trailer, then I’ll tell you what aspects I suggest you pay attention to.




How to watch the film

The movie had different reviews, which little have focused on the countless food for thought that it offers. Here are the ones that most caught my attention:

  • In the 1990s, the Austrian government organized a program for the restitution of artworks wrongly confiscated by the Nazis. The program leaves room for doubt that it is a mere cosmetic operation, since in reality the government seems to do its best to make any restitution complex, too complex;
  • The arrogance of Austrian government officials, confident in their own strength; men that neglect both the negotiation details and the legal aspects that will prove crucial to the whole affair. People who show their lack of negotiation skills by treating their counterparts rudely and with disregard, increasing their determination to win the legal battle;
  • The power of memory, able to help the young lawyer Randy Schoenberg to rediscover his roots and to build a completely new personal vision;
  • Some extremely interesting and sophisticated negotiation aspects in a context where the weak part is not aware of being so;
  • A young couple’s ability to gather their strength to achieve a difficult and uncertain goal, staying together in a time of extreme difficulty;
  • The descending parable of the Altman family, which sees everything they have vanished in a puff and which risks losing even its own identity.

In short, a film full of lessons that I recommend you watch carefully.


Helen Mirren, Ryan Reynolds, Daniel Brühl, Katie Holmes, Tatiana Maslany, Max Irons, Charles Dance

(No Ratings Yet)
Leave your comment now! (* mandatory)

Name *
E-mail *
Your comment *