Country: Austria / USA
Review: “Museum Hours” mixes fictional story and documentary in a stupendous way. It tells the story of a beautiful friendship between Johann (Bobby Sommer), a guard of Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, and Anne (Mary Margaret O’Hara), a Canadian visitor who seemed lost among those immense works of art, and whose main purpose was to reach the local hospital where a childhood friend was hospitalized in a state of coma. Johann, as an inveterate observer (both inside and outside the museum), sensed her despair and offered help. Since that day, both became good friends, spending their free time having agreeable conversations about their lives, discussing art, and strolling around the city, which was depicted almost like a painting. So, you can expect a very artistic and didactic film, in which is almost possible to get acquainted to Vienna, at the same time that we learn detailed aspects and different visions about the Flemish painter Pieter Bruegel’s works. Jem Cohen presents us his unique vision through a distinguished screenwriting and remarkable direction, aided by the strong performances of the leading couple. The art contemplation, café conversations, and historical information, ended up establishing a regular, relaxed pace, which can be a setback for many viewers. But don’t be discouraged, since “Museum Hours” has so much to offer in an unpretentious way, that this trip to Vienna comes very much recommended.