Museum Hours 2.0 stars

Museum Hours movie poster

Subtitle: the awakening of an aesthetic sense. But of course, an aesthetic sense is not the sort of thing you can shake into waking. You've got to nudge it, coax it, maybe sing to it a little. The setup here is contrived, but still believable: an ordinary, unexceptional Canadian (Mary Margaret O'Hara) is called to Vienna because she is the only family of a comatose patient there. She's not going anywhere for a while, and she doesn't have much money, but thoughtful museum guard (Bobby Sommer) gets her a pass, and she starts hanging out in the galleries. The story is scattershot, but the bulls-eye is the Flemish painter Peter Bruegel the Elder, who took the revolutionary step of treating ordinary, unexceptional lives as legitimate artistic subjects. (Just like the film!) Writer-director Jem Cohen never forces the issue, and is content to let the viewer look at the old city through O'Hara's new eyes. 2012.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.


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