“It is by going down into the abyss that we recover the treasures of life. Where you stumble, there lies your treasure.” ― Joseph Campbell
One point you must keep in mind while watching The Monuments Men is that the film wasn't intended to be a sweeping epic vision of World War II. The Monuments Men is one small yet significant story taken from an almost incomprehensible history of tragic events. As long as you remind yourself of the basic premise you will sit back and imagine yourself traveling along with unsuspecting characters on a harrowing journey. Critics and movie fans whose reviews I've read should seriously refrain from unfairly comparing this film to the unflinchingly intense Schindler's List or the brutal realism of Saving Private Ryan. The comparisons are trite and ridiculous.
What you should know is that the film was directed by Oscar winning actor/director George Clooney, is based on the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history. The screenplay was written by Grant Heslov and Clooney based on author Robert Edsels novels. The Monuments Men is a digestible entertaining action drama focused on a platoon of various art historians, museum curators and architects performed with sincere reliability by notable stars such as Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, John Goodman and Hugh Bonneville. The actual historical "Monuments Men" was an unusual rag-tag crew tasked by president Franklin D. Roosevelt with sneaking into Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves. Without this little known platoon and similar specialized forces the German army would have destroyed everything as the Reich fell.
Sentimental and nostalgic at times, the audience will be drawn into the seemingly impossible mission which becomes an emotional personal battle for each character involved. Despite what other movie viewers may say; if you possess any true authentic feelings at all you will shed tears during The Monuments Men. The movie reminds us that there are no small acts of love and kindness. There are no small acts of spite or hatred. Author and Nobel Prize recipient Elie Wiesel implores us to remember that the " opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not ugliness, it's indifference. The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.”