Museum Hours

A new review from The Movie Snob.

Museum Hours (B-).  This is a different sort of movie.  The plot is minimalist, serving mainly as an excuse for director Jem Cohen to hang out in the Kunsthistorisches art museum in Vienna, Austria.  A Canadian woman named Anne (played by Mary Margaret O’Hara, who is the sister of Catherine O’Hara of Home Alone fame) travels to Vienna when her cousin who lives there becomes seriously ill.  The cousin turns out to be comatose, so Anne has a lot of time on her hands, and she befriends Johann (Bobby Sommer), who is an English-speaking guard at the art museum.  To say the movie moves languidly is an understatement.  There are lots of shots of paintings and sculptures, and also lots of artsy exterior shots of Viennese streets, buildings, trees, and trains.  For a while, the movie forgets about the two main characters entirely and listens to a museum tour guide telling her group about the paintings of Pieter Bruegel the Elder.  Kind of an interesting experience, but it did start to feel a little long after a while.

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