I hadn’t heard about the Monuments Men until my friend Cara Putman wrote the novel Shadowed by Grace. I featured her with her book on this blog on January 21. When I read her novel, set in Italy, I became fascinated by this part of American and world history that I hadn’t even known about. The work of the Monuments Men continues through The Monuments Men Foundation (http://www.monumentsmenfoundation.org/). Although the Monuments Men found, recovered, and returned millions of pieces of artwork to their rightful owners, some artwork is still missing. They’re working to find these missing pieces of artwork.
Cara’s romantic suspense novel is fiction. But she researched the Monuments Men and included as much actual history in the novel as she could.
George Clooney, after reading the book Monument Men, written by one of the actual museum curators who was one of the Monuments Men, felt this story needed to be told. He put together a screenplay, directed, produced, and starred in the film. As with Cara's novel, many of the interactions between the characters in the movie were created by Mr. Clooney. But the historical events and significance of them are authentic.
The movie opened nationwide yesterday. James and I went. I came away in awe of what these men had done. Museum curators and men who worked in art restoration left their comfortable lives and families to join the end of the war, trying to save art that Hitler and his men were determined to either steal or destroy.
I loved the movie. It isn’t a Christian movie and war is hell, but the story was told with a very minimum amount of bad language, and none of it was gratuitous. I know in a war, lots of men express their frustration, anger, and fear with bad language.
The cinematography was beautiful, even when stark. Mr. Clooney chose an amazing cast, who made me believe they actually were the Monuments Men. I’ll never look at Hugh Bonneville the same after his wonderful performance. And I even forgot that was George Clooney on the screen instead of Frank Stokes. And one of the most heart wrenching scenes of the mover was with Bill Murray and Bob Balaban, and Cate Blanchett displayed a wide range of emotions.
I think that every American should see this film. We don’t need to forget the wide range of atrocities that were perpetuated by Hitler. We know about the death camps, but he engineered so much more.
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