Not a lot of things in this world compare to the devastation that World War II unleashed onto the world. Most of it was caused by one man, one tyrant that ruled over Germany with an iron fist and a twisted view of the world.
One of the least known tragedies was the destruction of culture. Adolph Hitler gathered priceless paintings and sculptures to fill up his vision of a museum showcasing “Aryan-approved” art. This city-wide museum was planned to be called, “The Führermuseum.”
The story and history of the small group of brave men and women who entered the war with the sole purpose of rescuing pieces of art and culture stolen by the Nazis is finally being told through the film, “The Monuments Men.”
This group was made up of 345 art historians, architects, archivists, museum curators and the like. The total number of works stolen during this time period was more than five million.
The whole premise of this film and the history of these brave men and women is absolutely astounding. The group risked everything for the sake of preserving the art and culture of the world in Europe. Some paid the price with their lives. They recovered tens of thousands of art pieces and sculptures; more are still being uncovered today.
The film flows smoothly and the transitions from one event to the next are clever and simple. The script is easy to understand and keeps the audience fascinated and almost at the edge of their seats. It is based on a true story, but the beauty of it is this is a story that a lot of people are unaware of.
The film centers around eight of the members, but most of their names were changed in the film. Cate Blanchett, who played Claire Simone, actually portrayed the heroine Rose Valland.
According to the Monuments Men historical website, Valland was an employee at a French museum during the Nazi occupation in France. She kept a log of every art piece and where the pieces were transported all throughout the Reich.
Blanchett’s performance as Simone, or rather Valland, was absolutely astounding. She felt very real. Valland’s commitment and love for art truly came out in Blanchett’s performance.
The leader of the Monuments Men in the film and the leader of the production, itself, is award-winning actor George Clooney, a man of many talents. The fact that he was able to direct this film as truthfully as he could while giving a realistic and heartfelt performance at the same time is impressive.
This film is a great attribute to the dedication to art and preservation of the world’s culture. It is an entertaining movie with a great cast and memorable characters. The action of the film provides suspense when needed and the actors balanced a casual blend of comedy with the relationships between characters.
The movie serves the purpose of telling a story while also providing a great source of entertainment for audiences.
The Alabamian gives this film an 8/10.