Would you sacrifice your life for art? The Monuments Men movie details the quest of seven men based upon a true story to rescue art during World War II. Although war movies are definitely not for me, the cast and storyline made for an interesting movie to educate and teach about a little known subject and I was honored to be invited to an early movie screening to help promote the film and write this review.
As a mom, this movie is probably one of the greatest ones to introduce a war movie to my boys when they are older. There are only a few fighting scenes and most of the effects and deaths are suggested by off camera scenes. There is more smoking than violence. There are some really slow scenes that will lose younger viewer’s interest.
Surprisingly there is plenty of humor to enjoy. Matt Damon is hilarious playing a man who thinks he can speak French and sadly cannot but John Goodman truly delivered the laughs. Each of the characters worked very well together, led by George Clooney. Although Bill Murray also provided some much needed comic relief during some tense moments, it was refreshing to see a more serious side of him.
Subtitles and dates with locations help the viewer follow along on the journey to reclaim the lost art that only mattered to but a few at the time.
Educators and those who are art history buffs should check out the educational website where free lesson plans, an interactive map, and videos to help build a curriculum can be found.
“The story of the Monuments Men is one that really very few people know,” says George Clooney, who returns to the director’s chair for the story of a small group of artists, art historians, architects, and museum curators who would lead the rescue of 1000 years of civilization during World War II in his new film, The Monuments Men. “Artists, art dealers, architects – these were men that were far beyond the age that they were going to be drafted into a war or volunteer. But they took on this adventure, because they had this belief that culture can be destroyed. If they’d failed, it could have meant the loss of six million pieces of art. They weren’t going to let that happen – and the truth of the matter is, they pulled it off.”
[quote]Based on the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history, The Monuments Men is an action drama focusing on seven over-the-hill, out-of-shape museum directors, artists, architects, curators, and art historians who went to the front lines of WWII to rescue the world’s artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and return them to their rightful owners. With the art hidden behind enemy lines, how could these guys hope to succeed? But as the Monuments Men found themselves in a race against time to avoid the destruction of 1000 years of culture, they would risk their lives to protect and defend mankind’s greatest achievements. From director George Clooney, the film stars George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hgh Bonneville, and Cate Blanchett. The screenplay is by George Clooney and Grant Heslov, based on the book by Robert M. Edsel with Bret Witter. Produced by Grant Heslov and George Clooney.[/quote]
The Monuments Men is rated PG-13 for some images of war violence and historical smoking and opens in theaters nationwide on February 7, 2014. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ with #MonumentsMen.
Photography © Columbia Pictures. Used with permission.