Abstew in the gallery to talk artworld films.
This past week saw the release of not one but two true life films set in the art world. Rather than traditional artist biopics, both films focus instead on the life of a particular painting's subject matter or the history of the painting itself. Woman in Gold (which opened in the top ten despite its limited theater count) stars Helen Mirren as Maria Altmann, a Holocaust survivor. She fought for over a decade in court with the Austrian government to become the rightful owner of Gustav Klimt's Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I. The painting was of her aunt and it was stolen from her family by the Nazis during WWII. The long-delayed Effie Gray revolves around the unhappy wife (Dakota Fanning) of art critic John Ruskin (Greg Wise) in Victorian England. Apparently their marriage was never consummated and Effie became involved with the Pre-Raphaelite painter John Everett Millais (Tom Sturridge) and was the subject of some of his paintings.
Biopics about artists (Frida, Pollock, Mr. Turner, Lust for Life, the original Moulin Rouge, and many more over the decades) have found favor with the Academy. It will be interesting to see if these new films begin a trend for movies about the backstories of famous paintings, rather than the artist who painted them.
Since Hollywood is always in need of more interesting and diverse source material, here are 5 works of art that would make movies as pretty as a picture...