Directed By: George Clooney
George Clooney, Grant Heslov
Time: 118 min
Starring: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville, Bob Balaban
Plot: While World War II rages on, a collection of art historians, architects, and art lovers struggle to protect and recover tens of thousands of the continent’s greatest art treasures looted by the Nazis. The Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives section was a multinational group of mostly middle-aged museum officials, artists, architects and restorers who volunteered their services when it became clear that Hitler’s elaborate plot to steal famous paintings, sculptures and other masterpieces for his planned personal museum posed just as real a threat to art as the bombing of the continent.
Comments: When my dad and I first saw the trailer, he was very interested in seeing it. And being on my current WW II kick, it’s the movie we decided to go see this week. It’s a great film, but something was missing though I cannot tell you what to make it truly great. It has an amazing cast and the story is both funny and heartbreaking, but again…something was missing.
Based loosely on Robert Edsel’s book of the same name, the Monuments Men are on a race against time not only to find the priceless works before the Russians can (their form of reparations) or the Nazi’s can blow it up (Hitler’s Nero clause that said if I die, I want you to destroy everything). Clooney’s character Stokes makes a note that you can rebuild after war, but you cannot rebuild a civilization’s achievements once they have been destroyed. It just killed me to watch scenes where priceless art was thrown into the city street and burned as if it had no value. You cannot get Rembrandt to come back and redo his works of art. Once lost, they are gone forever. Is it worth one man’s life though?
It has its humorous moments. Bill Murray revisits his Stripes days in a scene with Basic Training and I delightfully mocked Matt Damon’s character’s horrible French just as every Frenchman did. It is a bit light on the character development, but the film itself moves at a decent pace and I didn’t find myself bored.
Rent/Cinema? Cinema. For a popcorn film, I was entertained. Not sure if I would buy it later this year, but I do not feel as if my money was wasted at all.