14 October 2009 | dawnbreaksbehindtheeyes
A really wonderful movie
Judging from the reviews here you either love this movie or you absolutely hate it. I for one loved it. Being from Austria myself, you often get confronted with Schiele and Klimt - especially in Vienna, to a point where you're basically sick of it. Because of that I never got to fully appreciate these two artists until much later. This movie did help me to appreciate the artwork more. I was able to see this movie at the premiere in Austria when it came out and haven't seen it since then (though I would like to) and I had to think about it many times since then.
I can imagine that the reason many people didn't like this movie was because it's not what they expected.
If you want to see a straight forward, biographical accurate movie about the life of Gustav Klimt, then this movie isn't for you.
The basic premise is that Gustav Klimt is lying on his death bed and in a manner of flashbacks you get to see random scenes about a fictitious story revolving around a mysterious woman. Blinded by the fever, the scenes appear surreal and deliver a feeling similar to what you may feel upon viewing Klimt's artwork.
There's no straight plot following this movie and the real Klimt may not have been the way he appears in the movie, but that was never intended anyway. What this movie does is brilliantly deliver an atmosphere very fitting to the Wiener Moderne. The very important "Kaffeehaus Kultur" at the time, where intellectuals of Vienna spent the entire day in coffee houses is portrayed very precisely as well.
I also think that Malkovich and Nikolai Kinski seem to be a near perfect cast for Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele.
Anyway, if you've read this review and get the feeling that this movie is not for you, then don't watch it. But if you're intrigued by what you've read then by all means, go see this movie!