Museum Hours (2012)

Not Rated   |    |  Drama


Museum Hours (2012) Poster

When a Vienna museum guard befriends an enigmatic visitor, the grand Kunsthistorisches Art Museum becomes a mysterious crossroads that sparks explorations of their lives, the city, and the ways in which works of art reflect and shape the world.


6.9/10
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10 November 2019 | proud_luddite
7
| A welcome focus on people who would normally be ignored
A guard at the great Kunsthistorisches Museum of Vienna has an uplifting experience as he befriends a woman from Montreal who is visiting the city to visit an ailing relative in a hospital. They have many reflective discussions about life and art. This film is an Austrian/American co-production.

As both characters are presumably over fifty, there are many interesting observations of life and of the world they have seen pass by. Considering the characters' age group plus the fact that they are not financially well off, the viewer is given a rare chance to observe people that might be normally dismissed in the film world but who are fascinating nonetheless.

Director/writer Jem Cohen has many fascinating shots of Vienna and the museum during the bleak winter. These shots (many outside tourist sites) would not be included in tourist brochures but they still have their own special beauty.

Aside from the fine conversations, there are other interesting asides. The best is a guided museum tour lead by an interesting guide who knows her subject well but is still open-minded to what others in her group have to say. This openness is challenged as one member of her group seems a bit pompous and argumentative. It might be no coincidence that the pompous group member is seen reading his iPhone at the beginning of the tour.

Much of this film is beautiful mainly for its unique approach. This unique approach, however, would have worked better within a more condensed time (it runs almost one and three-quarters hours). Deliberately leaving out subtitles during the occasional German dialogue was also upsetting. But despite these shortcomings, "Museum Hours" is still a gem in its own special way.

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