It may have had a bumpy start with certain cranky critics at Berlin, but as I say in my video review above, Woman In Gold is very fine indeed, a triumph of storytelling and a compelling real-life tale likely to have smart, grownup audiences cheering. And though the film debuts April 1, that’s NO April Fool’s joke.

Deadline Review Badge Pete HammondThe story begins in 1998 with Maria Altmann (Helen Mirren), an elderly Jewish woman who fled her native Vienna 60 years earlier to avoid Nazi persecution just ahead of World War II. Six decades later, she teams with an inexperienced young lawyer, Randy Schoenberg (Ryan Reynolds) to reclaim family possessions stolen by the Nazis, especially a famed Gustav Klimt painting of her own Aunt Adele.

The painting, “Portrait Of Adele Bloch-Bauer 1,” ended up in the Belvedere Museum in Austria, and had become known in the post-war era as the “Mona Lisa of Austria”. Austrian officials didn’t want to give it back.

Mirren and Reynolds are simply superb together in this highly emotional, sometimes surprisingly funny, but always riveting story. The film is expertly directed by Simon Curtis ( My Week With Marilyn), and has more on its mind than simply to entertain, though it’s highly entertaining as well.

The fine supporting cast includes Daniel Bruhl, Katie Holmes, Charles Dance, Tatiana Maslany, Frances Fisher, Max Irons, Elizabeth McGovern and Jonathan Pryce. Screenplay is by Alexi Kaye Campell. Producers are David M. Thompson and Kris Thykier. The Weinstein Company and BBC Films are the production entities behind it.

Do you plan on seeing Woman In Gold? Watch my review and let us know what you think.