Anne (O'Hara), a Canadian from Montreal, travels to Vienna when her cousin Janet falls sick and is hospitalized. With little money, and knowing no one, she takes to spending her days in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, where she befriends one of the attendants, Johann (Sommer). Johann has worked at the museum for six years and finds great comfort in the paintings, especially the work of Flemish master Bruegel. Anne and Johann spend many hours together visiting the city and discussing life, art, and the intersection of the two.
Documentary filmmaker Cohen blends fictional narrative, amateur actors and observational camerawork to present a thoughtful meditation on the essence of art. Focusing on paintings by Rembrandt, Bruegel and other European artists, Cohen's camera encourages us to take a closer look at the familiar. In much the same way, Johann rediscovers his own city as he shows it to Anne. A museum tour guide (Ela Piplits) instructs a skeptical group of tourists to search the canvas in the same way that Cohen's camera roams the Viennese streets for random objects of beauty. If art is but the representation of the quotidian, then Anne and Johann are themselves significant details in the larger canvas of life. If you love art, visit this "Museum."