Museum Hours

Director: Jem Cohen
Year Released: 2012
Rating: 3.5

A Canadian (Mary Margaret O'Hara) discovers her cousin, who lives in Vienna, is in a coma so she goes to visit her - while in the city, she has a chance conversation with a security guard (Bobby Sommer) at the gorgeous Kunsthistorisches Art Museum and the two begin a purely platonic friendship. In a positively whimsical, meditative film (not unlike the work of, God rest his dear soul, Chris Marker), the frame story - of the Canadian in Austria - acts as a binding agent for Cohen's free-spirited meditation on the mystery (and history) of art, mortality, the city (and traditions) of Vienna and, above all, human connection. It's so rare to find (and cherish) a movie so unafraid to kind of float around effortlessly, ask so many questions, deliver so many powerful images and then drift off just as easily, leaving the viewer with the impression of being taken through a dream: it's independent cinema at its most elegant and understated.