George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, Bob Balaban
Directed by George Clooney
Based on the book “The Monuments Men” by Robert M Edsel
Seven men consisting of museum directors, curators, and art historians, are tasked to enter World War II to recover the stolen pieces of art taken by the Nazis. Based on a true story, these men risk their lives to save what’s left of the world’s culture.
Frank Stokes (Clooney) leads these men, under the group name of The Monuments Men, and assigns them to different areas of Europe. James Granger (Damon) heads to liberated Paris to find out information of where the Nazis moved the art. Claire Simone (Blanchett) worked as a secretary under the Nazi responsible for moving the pieces. In a notebook she recorded which pieces of art came through the building and where they were being moved in Germany to help the resistance. It takes some time for Granger to gain her trust, as she just sees him as an American who wants to steal art to keep rather than return to the rightful owners like the Russians were doing.
The most important artifact these Monuments Men are searching for is the altar pieces from the Ghent Catholic church. As World War II is nearing an end, their time is running out when they receive word that the Nazis are under orders to destroy everything they’ve stolen.
The Monuments Men is an important movie to watch. This movie showed another side to World War II that has been neglected. In school when we learned about the war, it was never mentioned that something happened to art. I never dreamed that the Nazis could have stolen thousands upon thousands of art from across Europe, and worse, that they even destroyed some. This movie opened my eyes to another aspect of World War II and how important it was for these men to save all these masterpieces. The Monuments Men risked their lives to get up close and personal with the war. They understood how vital it was for history to have these artworks returned and restored.
As someone interested in learning about the history of this war, I really enjoyed it. It was a great cast to watch, as these men who were unfit to serve found their own way to help with the war effort.