George Clooney’s latest film falls squarely within his wheelhouse: historically important stories presented in rollicking Hollywood fashion.
The Gravity star plays George Stout, the American art conservator and lecturer tasked with a seemingly suicidal task: heading into Nazi-occupied Europe after D-Day to prevent the Third Reich from destroying centuries of priceless artworks.
Framed as a comic-drama, Clooney’s film shows Stout recruiting a number of art historians and museum directors with limited military training, making their mission a uniquely dangerous one. And because he’s George Clooney and can damn-well cast anyone he pleases, these ‘Monuments Men’ are played by an awesomely eclectic cast of middle-aged actors.
We’re talking Matt Damon, John Goodman, Downton’s Hugh Bonneville, The Artist’s Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban (one of American cinema’s great recognisable faces that no-one knows the name of) and of course, Bill Murray.
Curiously, Clooney’s film missed the window of eligibility for this year’s Oscars but thankfully we won’t have to wait long for it. The Monuments Men parachutes into UK cinemas from Friday 21 February.