The Monuments Men

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I fell in love with this movie within the first ten minutes and decided to buy it long before the credits rolled. This magnificent film is a masterpiece, a work of art itself and one of the best movies I’ve seen all year. If you’re expecting a war drama like Saving Private Ryan, you’ll be disappointed as this film isn’t so much about graphic combat as it is an intellectual story about the importance of art and its place in society. I loved getting to know all these unsung academic heroes who put their lives on the line to save priceless art looted by the Nazis and most importantly return it to the rightful owners. Screamingly funny one minute and deadly serious the next, each scene was well crafted and I was utterly riveted throughout the whole thing. The script is subtle, quietly dramatic and deeply moving and all the actors gave truly superlative performances. Think of this as Ocean’s Eleven meets The Thomas Crown Affair, set in World War II. Given the subject material, the tone isn’t as dark as most movies in the genre but make no mistake, the realities of the war are in no way glossed over and there are some truly heartrending moments. Generally when I see a film receiving harsh treatment from the critics, I take it as a good sign that the movie will actually be quite good and this is no exception. In this case, I can see how this film wouldn’t appeal to everyone, just as not all people enjoy spending an afternoon in a museum or lost in a good book. But for those of us who have a deep regard for the historic and cultural value of art in all its forms, this film will touch something deep in your soul. George Clooney, I salute you for placing the integrity of the story first instead of trying to chase after awards and give you a standing ovation for your skill as a director. Full of wit, humor and dignified gravitas, this is entrancing from start to finish and I can’t remember when I have been so viscerally satisfied by a movie. – BETHANY

For more on this very underrated movie, visit: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2177771/?ref_=nv_sr_1

The boys looking all spiffy before things get messy.  (Matt Damon, Hugh Bonneville and George Clooney as Lt. James Granger, 2nd Lt. Donald Jeffries and Lt. Frank Stokes, respectively)

Recovering valuable objet d’art from Nazis caches.

Lt. Granger and Claire Simone (Cate Blanchett).

Check out the beautiful statues in the background!

Everything you need for a World War II movie – uniforms, helmets, guns, Jeeps and rubble.

Sgt. Richard Campbell (Bill Murray) and Pvt. Preston Savitz (Bob Balaban) receive some welcome Christmas gifts from home.

https://i0.wp.com/www.heyuguys.com/images/2014/02/the-monuments-men-premiere-11.jpgHarry Ettlinger, one of the real ‘Monuments Men’ at the film’s premiere.  (Image found at http://www.heyuguys.com)

Lt. Dale Ford (l.), commander of the Monuments Men, and then 19-year-old Monuments Man Harry Ettlinger looking over an original self-portrait by Rembrandt that was recovered from the Nazis.That’s Ettlinger on the right, looking at a stolen Rembrandt.

Another cache of stolen art rescued by the real Monuments Men.  (Image courtesy of www.monumentsmenfoundation.org)

The official trailer for The Monuments Men:

Photos courtesy of Columbia Pictures, Fox 2000 Pictures, Smokehouse Pictures, Obelisk Productions and Studio Babelsberg (unless otherwise noted)

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