Monuments Men - film (2014)

Monuments Men - film (2014)

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For his fifth film, George Clooney tackled a truly fascinating subject, inspired by a true story, that of the Monuments Men, these men from the crafts and knowing nothing about war, who grouped together in commandos during World War II tracked down and recovered works of art stolen and looted by the Nazi regime. At first glance, an excellent idea wasted by poor production and insipid speech.


1944. A small group made up of curators, museum directors, artists and other art historians arrives in Europe. Their mission? Recover works of art stolen by the Nazis, preserve them from destruction caused by war, in order to return them to their legitimate owners. Then begins a gigantic treasure hunt where time is running out in order to save this heritage of humanity.

Clooney's message on art

Throughout the film, George Clooney wonders: is a work of art worth more than a man's life? And he answers the viewer in the affirmative. But why ? Quite simply to save humanity from the barbarism in which it has compromised itself. Just that. And he never gives any other thoughts on the importance, meaning or scope of art. We will all agree that art plays a vital role in our society. However, it is truly ridiculous to want to reduce it to this purely binary vision: to save the creations of past centuries to erase the present destruction, even if it means sacrificing replaceable humans when the works of art are not. George Clooney therefore limits himself to an extremely reductive and debatable statement on art, without ever bringing forward any other arguments. Should we therefore adhere to his ideas, without further explanation, simply because it is art and art is important?

Worse, he even manages to make his message paradoxical by prioritizing works of art in his film. On what criteria? We will not know it. Let's take an example: throughout the film, the valiant Monuments Men chase after a major work: the altar of Ghent. But Clooney never explains what work it is - The Mystic Lamb of the Van Eyck Brothers -, why it is a masterpiece, or why it is more important than another work of art and it deserves to be lost in order to find it, abandoning hundreds of other works for lack of time. Thus, his message on art turns out to be vain even though it is at the very basis of the film. He also ignores the origin of the Nazi looting, only very furtively evoking the enormous theft of Jewish property, historically well known, to be limited to that of museums and churches. He thus leaves aside both art and history and the human being to deliver only a brilliant academic film to the glory of America, savior of the world.

Conventionality and patriotism

In the absence of substance, therefore remains the form. But the realization also fails on this point. The film seems devoid of issues or implications. George Clooney films with flatness without ever showing rhythm or visual originality. We must admit that it is hardly helped by its incoherent scenario and the use of the good big clichés of use. Let us quote, for example, the misogynistic and sexist cliché about Parisians, all easygoing women, or the usual cliché about bad Russian women. Indeed, the director presents his commando of Monuments Men engaged in a race against time to recover the works of art before the Russian army which is present only to show that it is wicked, the whole to obtain a final vibrant with patriotism falling into pathos. Heartbreaking Manichaeism ...

The rest of the film centers on the dialogues of its stars, boasting humorously echoing the “Ocean's” trilogy. But it is not Soderbergh who wants. The mixture between comedy and adventure absolutely does not take. The rendering of this cabotinage in turn, to give each star his speaking time in the midst of the horrors of war falls into the caricature referring to The Seventh Company. In short, this is a boring, ultra-conventional film that achieves the feat of completely missing its subject. Far from being a monument.

Monuments Men, by George Clooney, on DVD and Blu-ray on July 23, 2014.

Video: The Monuments Men 2014 - Opening Scene (June 2022).


  1. Utkarsh

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  2. Shakashicage

    I'm sorry, there is a proposal to go another way.

  3. Mezimi

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  4. Valdeze

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