Overwhelmingly movies made for general release are made with the idea of bringing entertainment to as many viewers as possible. That is the essence of the film industry. Understanding that is why, in my opinion, “The Monuments Men” is one of the best films of the year. It is extremely entertaining and from “but gee is it real” perspective it also does a decent job of reminding us of the true horrors of World War II in general and the bloody Nazis in particular. So if a song sung about half way through the film has a line that in fact hadn’t been written until 1957 who really cares?
The cast is one of the best ever assembled. The screen play was written by George Clooney, the movie was Directed by George Clooney and George Clooney stars as Frank Stokes the leader of the merry band of art aficionados tasked by President Roosevelt to recover and return as much as possible the art stolen by Hitler and his band of Nazis.
Second in command of the team is Jason Granger. That character was originally to be played by Daniel Craig but ended up with Matt Damon who I believe was the perfect choice.
Other key players are Bill Murray as Richard Campbell, Cate Blanchett as Claire Simone, John Goodman as Walter Garfield, Jean Dujardin as Jean Claude Clermont, Hugh Booneville as Donald Jefferies, Bob Belaban as Preston Savitz and Dimitri Leonidas as Sam Epstein. Wow! It has actually been 33 years since the movie “Stripes.” The entire cast was just magnificent and brought great energy to the film.
One of the most memorable scenes to me is when Frank Stokes sits down one on one with a Nazi who proudly confirms that he indeed had among other things run a death camp with the noble task of ridding the world of the nasty Jews. Stokes does a brilliant job of quietly but thoroughly destroying the Nazi’s arrogance. Very flawed thinking was brilliantly shattered.
So will “The Monuments Men” be nominated for or receive an Oscar in 2015? That is impossible to say but it will certainly and rightly be in serious contention. It is absolute worth your time and money. “The Monuments Men” is currently in wide release and in my opinion richly deserves to be seen. It has abundant humor, some important history and some the finest acting in our modern world. Enjoy!