Museum Hours (2013)
Critic Consensus: Its languid pace may frustrate some viewers, but for patient filmgoers, Museum Hours offers a carefully observed portrait of the human condition.
Acclaimed filmmaker Jem Cohen's new feature, "Museum Hours", is a mesmerizing tale of two adrift strangers who find refuge in Vienna's grand Kunsthistorisches Art Museum. Johann, a museum guard, spends his days silently observing both the art and the visitors. Anne, suddenly called to Vienna from overseas, has been wandering the city in a state of limbo. A chance meeting sparks a deepening connection that draws them through the halls of the museum and the streets of the city. The exquisitely photographed "Museum Hours" is an ode to the bonds of friendship, an exploration of an unseen Vienna, and the power of art to both mirror and alter our lives. (c)Cinema Guild … More
Watch it now
News & Interviews for Museum Hours
No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.Login
Critic Reviews for Museum Hours
Sommer is perfect. So is O'Hara. This is the "Before Sunrise" for a very different (and platonic) pair of individuals.
Amid all the looking and dissection, Cohen demonstrates an understanding of the individual need for increasingly elusive privacy that feels urgent, wistful, and quaint.
The quiet time that Johann and Anne spend during museum hours -- and after his shifts on trips around the city -- offer solace in their mutual solitude. Museum Hours is an introverted companion for its viewers.
The two leads contribute fresh, genuine performances, and what might have been a musty academic exercise gains in tension from Cohen's deft juxtaposing of vocal narration, character detail, and majestic artwork.
It's as if Cohen had lived for centuries among these places, and sometimes with art that encapsulates these centuries, and is pleasantly imprisoned within its strength.
Audience Reviews for Museum Hours
A museum guard at the Kunsthistorisches befriends a middle aged Canadian woman who has come to Vienna to visit a dying relative. This slow, abstract and contemplative movie won't be to everyone's taste; the best thing I can say about it is that it makes me want to go on vacation, visit an art museum and make a friend in a foreign country.
There is a magnificent stillness in this love letter to the Kunsthistoriches Museum, and it turns around a very realistic and beautifully mundane circumstance: a surprise friendship in middle age that helps make an uncomfortable situation bearable, maybe even fun. Unorthodox film that's very slow and considered but not laborious. A fine work of art.
It is one thing for a movie to rhapsodize about the importance of small details not only in life but also in art, especially that of Pieter Bruegel. And then you have a movie like "Museum Hours" which takes it a step further in not being able to see the forest for the trees and concentrates on the activities of a solitary squirrel to the detriment of everything else. Which might not be a huge problem if there was anything going on in the foreground.
What little we have here concerns Johann(Bobby Sommer), once a road manager for bands, who now works as a security guard in the fine arts museum in Vienna. In his spare time, he listens to AC/DC and plays online poker. That leaves plenty of time to hang out with Anne(Mary Margaret O'Hara) who is in town from Montreal to care for an ailing relative in a coma. Since she has little money, their options are limited. But getting her a museum pass proves to be little trouble.
But the movie gets bored with that, going off on random tangents and even throwing in a few naked bodies at one point to see if anybody is even paying attention anymore, much less still have a pulse.
Discuss Museum Hours on our Movie forum!