The Monuments Men Reviews
One detail of the movie that really annoyed me was that they made up the character of Preston Savitz, played by Bob Balaban. This character was based on Lincoln Kirstein, who brought George Balanchine to New York from Russia. Together they later established the New York City Ballet after the war. He was a remarkable enough character on his own to warrant a film. It was his vast knowledge of art that led to him and architect Robert Posey (played by Bill Murray) in finding the Ghent Altarpiece-- the central piece of art in the film. Kirstein was very tall and had very strong features-- very different than Bob Balaban. They should have made the entire film revolve around Lincoln Kirstein-- you would have ended up caring about his character they you would have ended up with a much more engaging and satisfying picture.
Based on true events, the film shows the group working to save major art works stolen from museums and private collections, especially art owned by Jews who would be killed by the Nazis.
There is great poignancy in their struggle, successes, as well as failures, shown in the movie.
If you like WWII movies, you will also enjoy the heroics shown by Americans, British and French soldiers to return these artworks.
Frank Stokes (George Clooney): Why d'you do something like that?
James Granger (Matt Damon): It was a slow day.
Frank Stokes (George Clooney): Well, I wouldn't move.
James Granger (Matt Damon): I'd like to at some point.
This was a really cool film. It was awesome that some people valued art enough to join the U.S. Military in order to save some priceless works of art. The ensemble was great; normally, I'm not a fan of Clooney, but he was really good in this one. Damon, Murray and Goodman were great too but my favorite was Bob Balaban- he was just the awesomest!!! Overall, interesting story and a really nice art lesson to boot.