Movie Review: “The Monuments Men”

Note: Yesterday I posted about fighting Internet surveillance. Today I thought it would be fitting to write about a movie that shows some good old American strength and victory. After all, beating a fascist like Adolf Hitler is a good thing to celebrate.

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OVERALL: It was and ok, matinee movie.

POINTS: The love of amazing artwork the characters had in the movie.

PITFALLS: It was a, for lack of a better term, a calm movie. It did not have highs or lows of drama in it. It just moved along. And maybe that was a better portrayal of the day to day living of the Monuments Men, but it made for odd film making. A visually rich movie, but lacking in highs and lows. Plus there were times when the music was swelling and I thought it would have been better if there had been silence. Like in 12 Years A Slave.

Also we do know there were Monuments women so it would have been nice to see a few more of those besides the Cate Blanchett character.

AND

There was a lot of talk about saving the art to “save our way of life” and usual blah blah blah statements that are tiresome because we have heard them so much. I think one of the big reasons to save the art was because Hitler wanted it. And if that murdering facist wanted all of that art for himself, then my goodness taking it was a sweet kick in his nuts. Taking all of that art and claiming it for himself was Hitler’s way of psychologically beating the snot out of everyone in Europe. So was it important to take back and give back that art? You bet.

FEMALE CHARACTER(S): Claire Simone played by Cate Blanchett was a breath of fresh air as the only woman in the film. It was also nice that this character was not played by a 20 year old as Clooney has been known to say that he lamented the lack of roles for women over 40. Cate Blanchett of course offers a wonderful performance. She is nuanced in her character and motivation. A very cool character.

CULTURAL PITFALL(S): Like many WWII movies, this was very much in the vein of self-aggrandizement of the white man. And ya know what? Ok, fine. It would be nice though to see a more diverse group get honored and I am including white men in that as well.

HIGH POINT(S): 1.) Cate Blanchett playing Claire Simone spitting into a Nazi glass (see Bechdel Test). 2.) The good-nature smile of the Russian commander when he found the American flag flying over a mine. 3.) Bob Balaban as Preston Savitz revealing Nazi sympathizers by getting the children to salute to “Heil Hitler.”

BECHDEL TEST (Website): 0 of 3. Though I must mentioned that there is a scene at the beginning of the movie where Cate Blanchet’s character has to get a glas for a Nazi. She spits in it, looks at the woman working in the kitchen and says it is for a Nazi. The other woman spits as well. Wonderful interaction. 🙂

RACIAL BECHDEL TEST (Website): 0 of 3. *sigh* I think I saw some PoC in the background. Maybe? *sigh again*

IMDB: The Monuments Men (2014)

OFFICIAL MOVIE WEBSITE:  Monuments Men | Official Movie Site

DVD/BLU-RAY WORTHY: Yes.

LION PAW PRINTS:  2.5 of 5.

The Monuments Men movie poster.

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2 responses to “Movie Review: “The Monuments Men”

  1. It was unfortunate that this film was so blah –
    with that kind of cast, and a war movie to boot – it was almost placid.
    You correctly labeled the film as havin no highs, no lows – a calm movie. Clooney played it safe.

    If anything it was too calm. Even with Damon standing on a land mine – no one even broke a sweat.

    And you were correct when you said the Queen Cate added plenty to the film. Although I do think that tiny seduction (“You could stay over…”, wasn’t really necessary.

    • Yes, indeed, and thanks for your words. Plus I think you are not the only one to complain about the “romance.” I think the first review of the movie I read complained about that. It would have been more interesting and well, believable, if they had just been working partners.

      Plus, speaking of Cate, there could have been more to the trust building between Damon and Blanchett’s characters that could have offered few more inches to some highs or lows.

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