The Monuments Men
“The Monument’s Men” starts in 1943 Italy, in the midst of World War II. We see George Clooney as Professor Frank Stokes explaining the necessity of art: it sustains the culture. The next thing we know, we see eight (getting on in life) men suiting up for a war—montage style. Their sole purpose is to save the art that Adolf Hitler is taking from everybody he can.
It is almost similar to the “Ocean’s 11” movies with the fact that George Clooney is rounding up the men in order to steal something with side-kick Matt Damon. In this case it is to steal the art and give it back to the rightful owners.
These seven main men are absolutely brilliant. Along with Frank Stokes (Clooney) and James Granger (Matt Damon), there is Richard Campbell (Bill Murray), Preston Savitz (Bob Balaban), Walter Garfield (John Goodman), Jean Claude Clermont (Jean Dujardin), and Donald Jefferies (Hugh Bonneville).
Let’s start with Bill Murray. He is just as great as people would expect him to be and he delivers the much needed humor. The movie is not overly dark and dramatic, but his one liners are a good contribution, especially when in the film, he is paired with Bob Balaban to hunt down a Belgian panel set of religious artwork. Next is John Goodman and Jean Dujardin.
Individually, Goodman and Dujardin are great; this is especially portrayed in the way Goodman conveys Garfield’s self-image in about eight seconds by spryly wearing his helmet to the side. As a team, though, Goodman and Dujardin are even better; not to give anything away but they will certainly yank on emotions. Hugh Bonneville plays Donald Jefferies in search and rescue of the elusive Madonna and Child and provides the motivation and drive for the rest of the crew.
All of these men build a camaraderie that is essential to film and eventually make it what it is.
It’s a 6 out of 10 stars.