The Monuments Men
Just when we think we’ve had enough of wartime drama epics, along comes yet another to emerge dramatically from the slow doldrums of a dying genre.
This time around, we have The Monuments Men, a biopic tale of seven men in their exigent struggle to save countless artefacts of priceless art from the insidious, infernal grip of the Nazi regime. Their lead, Lt Frank Stokes – portrayed by actor and director George Clooney – heads the amalgam of museum directors in their spread across Europe in a last-ditch effort to free the continent’s culture from the insidious grip of Hitler.
The film is their dispersal – and later, convergence – across illustrious capitals of Europe that were at the mercy of the Nazi forces. Their travels take them to landmarks north of Germany to scout rumours of stolen art. Arguably the most significant trial was that of Lt James Granger (Matt Damon); with a deplorable understanding of the French language, on his journey to Paris he meets the cunning Claire Simone, portrayed by the irrefutable Cate Blanchett.
Although a marginally glorified account of war (as if all other war films aren’t), the authenticity of the film is present throughout, with a meticulous and most likely painstaking attention to historic detail, down to the last button on Clooney’s dapper jacket. Combined with the cutting slurs of allied soldiers in wartime Europe, The Monuments Men is a perfect encapsulation of the zeitgeist of WWII culture and society.
With aplomb and perseverance, despite the regrettable loss of close friends, The Monuments Men is a heart-lifting retelling of a close-knit band of men in their strife of what is undoubtedly the largest treasure hunt in the history of the world, all in the name of saving culture from desecration and pillage.
The Monuments Men is released nationwide on 14th February 2014.
Watch the trailer for The Monuments Men here: