Monuments Men


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From the book of the same name by Robert M. Edsel.

A group of art historians and experts join the army at the end of WWII to rescue art that has been stolen by Nazis from being destroyed as they lose the areas where it is kept.

Mr. Otter, Spider Jerusalem and I were very excited about this…a WWII story, with great actors, and also about trying to preserve art and history…what’s not to like? Some of our favorite people are in this: Clooney and Damon, of course, but also John Goodman, Bill Murray and Bob Balaban, among others. And as librarians, we are totally behind the ‘preserve the world’s art treasures!” thing.

We tried to go see it with SJ, but our schedules just didn’t play well together. Finally, Mr. Otter and I said, we’re going to see it TOMORROW. Come if you can…and he couldn’t, so we had date night at the movies.

And…well, I won’t say we were disappointed. The actors were good. The history was good (and Mr. Otter’s avatar, Historian-on-a-Stick, felt no need to make an appearance.) The writing and acting were good.

But…and you knew there’d be a BUT, right?

For a war movie, with a good story, it was pretty…well…it was kinda dull.

There was a lot of action. They made the story revolve around finding and saving two specific pieces of art, among the thousands that the Nazis stole and hid in a whole lot of places. The character development was very good, and each one of them got a moment in the sun. There was a bit of high-intensity boy-girl stuff between Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett. All of it was well done.

But there was no real excitement. There was no edge-of-your-seat-oh-my-gosh-what-will-happen-next thrill. It seemed to be a foregone conclusion that they would find what they were looking for with a minimum of danger or harm (sure, one of them dies, but I would have put money on it walking in that SOMEONE would, it’s not much of a story otherwise.)

And of course, we were told OVER and OVER and OVER AGAIN how important art is and why these guys were doing this. Preachin’ to the choir, honey. That got a bit repetitious, but I can understand why they did that.

So…yes, it was good, worth seeing, just don’t expect thrills or excitement, just a good workmanlike job and a nice story.

And maybe that’s all that we needed here. But I was just a tiny bit disappointed…

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