Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Reel Facts & Opinions: Everything You Need to Know About THE MONUMENTS MEN

The first two months of the year are never expected to showcase anything great, but every once in a while you get a unique situation like THE MONUMENTS MEN; a film which was originally slated for a December 2013 release before being delayed, or perhaps exiled to Movie Siberia. Here is everything you need to know about the film:
Who is behind this? THE MONUMENTS MEN is directed by George Clooney, whose past directing efforts include the Oscar-darling GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK, and the acclaimed THE IDES OF MARCH. It is being produced by Clooney’s frequent collaborator Grant Heslov, who produced last year’s Best Picture, ARGO, and this year’s acclaimed AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY.

What’s it all about? Based on a true story, THE MONUMENTS MEN is about a WWII platoon who is cobbled together to rescue art masterpieces from the Nazi’s and return them to their rightful owners.
Who is in this? THE MONUMENTS MEN has an ensemble cast of Oscar winners and contenders; George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Cate Blanchett, Hugh Bonneville, Jean Dujardin (THE ARTIST), and veteran actor Bob Balaban (MOONRISE KINGDOM, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND).

What’s the catch? As stated, THE MONUMENTS MEN was slated for a December release with the intention of making a serious run at the Oscars. George Clooney then asked for more time for post-production due to the special effects not being ready.
Outlook: Clooney has assembled a great cast and dropped them into a backdrop which will never run out of stories, the Second World War. Everyone loves a good war film, and the unique mission of finding art pieces brings new territory we haven’t seen before. The move to the early months is a concern, as one has to wonder if there was more going on behind the scenes than just late visual-effects work. However, you have to hand it to Clooney and Heslov for putting their Oscar-egos and asking for the rare delay. The move to the early months of the year makes it highly unlikely to receive any awards attention when the voters begin filling out their ballots later on in the Fall. But It all makes THE MONUMENTS MEN the most interesting film in this early year.

THE MONUMENTS MEN opens February 7th.

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