February 17, 2014 - 16:50 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Helen Mirren is on golden form. The Oscar and Bafta winner received a golden Fellowship statuette from the Duke of Cambridge at the EE British Academy Film awards on Sunday, Feb 16.
And she’s in early, delicate negotiations to star in a riveting true-life art world drama called The Golden Lady, about one of the world’s most famous paintings, according to Daily Mail.
If a deal can be reached, Helen will play Maria Altmann, a Jewish refugee who, in her 80s, took on a government to recover art treasures she believed rightfully belonged to her family.
With help from a shrewd lawyer, Randol Schoenberg, Altmann petitioned the Austrian government — using the Supreme Court in Washington and high courts in Vienna — to try to have returned five paintings the Nazis looted from her uncle during the war, which were later hung in Austrian galleries and museums.
The most celebrated canvas was The Lady In Gold, Portrait Of Adele Bloch-Bauer I, where Gustav Klimt immortalised the society beauty in a riot of gold paint and flecks of real gold.
The dazzling piece, the first of two portraits of Adele by Klimt, had been commissioned by her husband Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer ...who was Ms Altmann’s uncle. In 2006, The Lady In Gold and the four other works were handed back to Ms Altmann and her relatives.
Cosmetics magnate Ronald S. Lauder subsequently acquired the golden wonder for $135 million. The other four works went into disparate collections for $192.7million.
Lauder told the New York Times that The Lady In Gold was ‘our Mona Lisa’. Filming is due to take place during the summer on locations in the U.S. and Europe.
During the court battle Ms Altmann, who ran a cashmere clothing concern in Beverly Hills, complained to the LA Times about the Austrian government.
‘They will delay, delay, delay — hoping I will die,’ she said. ‘But I will do them the pleasure of staying alive.’ The redoubtable Ms Altmann died in 2011, at 94.
The film will be directed by Simon Curtis from a screenplay by Alexi Kaye Campbell. BBC Films and Origin Pictures are producing the movie.