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Monuments Men Film Review
updated: Mar 08, 2014, 12:00 PM

By Rosie Sullivan

The Monuments Men: directed, written, produced by and starring George Clooney - with Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, and Hugh Bonneville

Monuments Men is an American-German war film based on the true story of a World War II allied platoon tasked with entering Germany and rescuing art masterpieces from the Nazis who stole them. The mission was to return the stolen art to their rightful owners. With the art behind enemy lines, in unknown locations, this was a seemingly impossible task and as the Reich fell, the Germans' orders were to destroy everything, complicating matters even more. The film tells the amazing story of seven men - a mix of museum curators and art historians - with no military background and little training. In order to avoid the destruction of one thousand years of culturally important items this group of men risked (and even sacrificed) their lives to protect some of the greatest achievements of mankind.

Beyond the story, there were no remarkable aspects of the film. Not to say that the film was not enjoyable, simply that nothing stood out to me. George Clooney is doing his thing and everyone else seems to enjoy working together. The men are playing familiar characters and while they might be in comfortable roles, they give solid performances that reflect the camaraderie that one can only assume exists between them.

After watching this film, I got to thinking - what has changed in our culture that we no longer seem to care about art as we did in the 1940s? The contemporary question, to me, is why the U.S. army stood by in Baghdad as the National Museum of Iraq was looted and destroyed. There has been a lot of criticism of the government for doing nothing to protect the museum after the occupation of Baghdad. It was awful to see art being destroyed and mistreated in this film and it is heart-wrenching to think that the marines allowed and made no attempt to stop museum ransacking of artifacts from Mesopotamia and ancient Iraq; history was destroyed very very quickly. Sure, the marines are strictly regimented but does that excuse the reasoning behind why the museum's safety from combat and looting was not ensured? Just some food for thought!

If you've seen this film, let me know what you think.

 

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