Saturday, February 08, 2014

The Monuments Men, A Review

The other night my husband and I had the opportunity to see an advance screening of The Monuments Men. This little-known piece of American history (ok, little known to me) has been turned into a riveting film that I would recommend taking kids over I'd say the age of 10 to. There is a bit of language and it does depict some of the horrors and tension of war-- but it's not gratuitous or sensationalized. It's real.

The only small complaint I had about the movie is that in about the first 20 or so minutes, it didn't seem to know what it was-- comedy or drama. And to be sure, there are some comedic moments to be found in these professors and architects and art majors being transformed into soldiers. And with actors like John Goodman and Bill Murray, you expected some humor. But once they get into the actual action of hunting down the art and monuments they're after, the joking around mostly stops and the movie hits its stride. The movie probably pretty accurately depicted how the real experience happened-- they became soldiers, they saw awful things, and they became a unit of men committed to their cause, and each other.

In the end, Monuments Men is a pretty amazing account of what these committed few did to preserve the art and monuments we still have today. And to know that, most likely, without the help of these men, we might not have any of these great pieces of art, considering that Hitler's plan was to destroy it all if Germany fell. They risked their lives because they held a passionate belief in doing the right thing. Any time I can share that message with my kids, it's always a good thing in my book.

I will spare you my sermon on how no one values anything like that any more and instead I will simply say that you should consider taking your kids to see this if you'd like to inspire them... and yourself in the process as well. I will confess to the tears in my eyes at the end. And if you want to know I had tears in my eyes, well, you'll just have to see the film.
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