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Film Stresses Importance Of Art Through Fascinating Story

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Film Stresses Importance Of Art Through Fascinating Story

Post by Mazy on Fri Feb 21 2014, 13:21

Feb 20, 2014 | Vote0 0
Film Stresses Importance Of Art Through Fascinating Story
Carleton Place Almonte Canadian Gazette
By Mark Haskins

MOVIE: The Monuments Men STARRING: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, John Goodman, and Cate Blanchett DIRECTOR: George Clooney RATING: PG Arts - I think a good movie should tell a story, make you think, and teach you something of the human condition. I think the art in film making is in its ability to move you. It's in its ability to make you laugh or make you cry. The Monuments Men is a very good film.

Towards the end of World War II the Nazis began to move all the art they'd stolen back to Germany. Frank Stokes (George Clooney) is tasked by FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt) to put together a team to find the stolen pieces, and get them back to their rightful owners. Some people would see this as foolhardy. For Stokes this is what this war is about. To him it's about saving 1000 years of western culture.

Stokes calls on James Granger (Matt Damon), Richard Campbell (Bill Murray), Preston Savitz (Bob Balaban), Donald Jefferies (Hugh Bonneville, Jean Claude Clermont (Jean Dujardin) and Walter Garfield (John Goodman) to join him on
his quest. They aren't soldiers, they're architects, museum curators and artists, but they're willing to put their lives on the line to save what they can.

Their quest soon becomes a race against time. An order is intercepted that says if Germany falls or Hitler is killed then the Nazis are to destroy everything. Every painting, every sculpture, every great work of art lost forever. For Stokes and his men this cannot be allowed to happen.

The Monuments Men is a fascinating story. It's a facet of World War II that I wasn't that familiar with, and I found Clooney's telling of this story riveting. To think of what was almost lost is staggering, yet there were these men and woman putting their lives in danger to save these works of art. It's incredible, and I thought Clooney was able to take their quest and show why it was important to them, and why it was important to all of us.

Beyond that Clooney shows incredible sensitivity with this film. He balances the seriousness of the subject with moments of humour. He balances the horror and sorrow of war with moments of triumph. He quiet smartly sticks to his story and the small part it has within the larger picture, and in so doing creates a magnificent film. There's a sense of real camaraderie between this cast, and it spills forth onto the screen. John Goodman, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, and Hugh Bonneville were perfect. Cate Blanchett who plays Claire Simon a French art expert is wonderful. Matt Damon delivers a great performance, and George Clooney is as brilliant in front of the camera as he is behind it.

Art is the soul of a culture or people. Destroy a people's art and you destroy their soul. The Monuments Men understood that, and I believe George Clooney understands it too.

Mark Haskins' column is a regular feature of the EMC.

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