|The Monuments Men plan a series of art heists.|
Directed by George Clooney
Produced by George Clooney and Grant Heslov
Written by George Clooney and Grant Heslov (based on the book)
Starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville and Cate Blanchett
Nations are defined by their culture and their history, which should be protected and preserved. This historical drama follows a group of art experts (dubbed "The Monuments Men") who did just that in World War II. During the height of the war, the Nazis were stealing artworks from foreign countries and, in some cases, destroying them. The Monuments Men (Clooney, Damon, Murray, Goodman, Dujardin, Balaban and Bonneville) did their best to recover the stolen artworks and return them to their original locations. A small but important part of the war effort, no doubt.
This sounds like a rousing historical piece, and it is. However, Clooney's film struggles to find the right tone, offering light humor in the face of some dark material. In the vein of movies like The Great Escape and The Dirty Dozen, the narrative shovels patriotism every step of the way, with humor accompanying the drama. It works for the most part, and it's entertaining from start to finish. Not to mention the breadth of talented actors on hand, all of which deliver good performances. Bill Murray, in particular, has a scene that is one of the year's finest, even if it is only February. Alexandre Desplat's score also provides the film with a needed boost. But the film, on the whole, feels stale and too familiar for too much praise. If a light historical drama is what you want, look no further than The Monuments Men.
Oscar Potential: Best Production Design, Best Original Score