The Monuments Men

Directed by George Clooney
Starring George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban and Dimitri Leonidas
In UK cinemas February 14th, 2014

by Joanna Orland

Never has a film provoked such apathy in me.  In fact, I didn’t even know apathy could be provoked until this film, which I inadvertently keep writing out as “The Monuments Meh”.

The mediocre The Monuments Men is a World War II dramedy starring, written and directed by George Clooney.  Clooney has gathered his motley crew of Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, the beautiful Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville and Cate Blanchett to fill out the cast of characters with very entertaining and familiarly famous faces.  The star studded cast is certainly the highlight of this film.  A film cannot be bad with this ensemble, but it sure can be merely moderately entertaining.  Nothing more than a decent film for a lazy Sunday afternoon.

The story itself is of vast historical, political and cultural significance. The Monuments Men was a collective formed during the war with the sole mission of retrieving cultural property, including works of art, from the Nazis and returning them to their owners, galleries and countries.  The bulk of the treasures were found as the war was coming to an end, in salt mines and castles in Germany.  Some works of art remain undiscovered.

I’d imagine this story to be a powerful and gripping drama in the hands of a more significant director.  If this script was given to Steven Spielberg, we would’ve had another Munich or Schindler’s List on our hands.  Instead, Clooney has OceanedTM this film and turned a serious story into a heist-filled romp.  As far as heisty romps go, it’s not even one of the better ones.  The script falls flat, the characters are underdeveloped, the only empathy the audience can feel with this film is the knowing that it is based on a harsh reality.  In fact, rather than support this film, why not support the actual Monuments Men Foundation.

While the film itself is only moderately entertaining, the excitement on the red carpet at the UK premiere was exhilarating.  Finding myself shuffling down the red carpet in high heels while passing the likes of Bill Murray, George Clooney and Matt Damon was thrilling.  Hearing the crowd in unison chant “Matt Damon” Team America style as he exited his town car, was ingenius and hilarious.  The man didn’t even flinch.  Seeing the cast of Dimitri Leonidas, Bob Balaban, Jean Dujardin, John Goodman, Bill Murray, Hugh Bonneville, Matt Damon and Clooney himself be joined on stage by real life Monuments Man Harry Ettlinger was a true highlight.  It’s only a shame that the film does not emanate the same excitement.

Some blurry photos from the UK premiere:

3 Responses to “The Monuments Men”

  1. Hey, maybe this is a little bit off topic here, however I had been reading your website and it looks great!.

  2. You need to get upset! Get motivated and get pissed off. Now this will let you take the next steps to becoming successful.

  3. They are perfect, quick shipment. Love them.

Leave a Reply