This trailer’s been sitting on the shelf since Thursday, but since it’s for a film that may well make a dent in Oscar season, we should probably talk about it anyway. George Clooney’s The Monuments Men was touted as frontrunner fairly early on in the game, mostly based on its intimately Argo-like premise. A band of men head into Nazi Germany in order to rescue several priceless art pieces, maintaining important cultural artifacts in the process.
Sounds like good ol’ time mission flick, which is exactly what it look like, too. Nothing about this film screams prestige Oscar contender, and its placement at the height of the season really betrays what director George Clooney seems to be going for here. Clooney doesn’t really make Oscar movies, not that his films are completely incapable of being considered such. He makes capital “M” Movies, and that’s what The Monuments Men appears to be, more in the vein of Leatherheads than Good Night and Good Luck.
Am I saying the Oscar chances are out? Of course not, because it’ll quite likely garner a Best Picture nod all the same. It’ll be a likeable contender no matter what, perhaps even more so for the geriatric humour the film seems to be playing in. Old folks go out into a war zone to rescue paintings? That’s so easily likeable there’s little way it can fail to charm certain Academy members. That said, don’t be placing this film too high in the winner slots. This doesn’t seem to have the gravitas or cultural resonance to remain the one to beat.
I don’t imagine there will be much in the way of performance nominations, except maybe for Jean Dujardin. He’s an Academy darling after The Artist, and I can see a Supporting Actor nomination in a similar vein to Alan Arkin in Argo happening. Production Design and Original Score (Alexandre Desplat) are quite possibly in the cards, but we’ll have to wait and see just what else can eke in there. Take a look at the trailer below and let us know what you think!