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"You can wipe out an entire generation. You can burn their homes to the ground. And somehow they will still find their way back. But if you destroy their history, you destroy their achievements, then it's as if they never existed. That's what Hitler wants. And that's exactly what we're fighting for." This is the bold claim made by George Stout, leader of the titular band of art history heroes from The Monuments Men.
Inspired by real events, this drama co-written, directed by and starring George Clooney sheds a spotlight on a World War II platoon whose job was to save national treasures and priceless art pieces from the destructive hands of the Nazis. And in the international trailer shared by The Daily Mail, you can see Clooney oozing old school charm alongside his star stacked cast that includes Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman, Bill Murray, Jean Dujardin, Hugh Bonneville, and Bob Balaban. Maybe it’s the smattering of Wes Anderson alumni, but there is something in this cheeky trailer that definitely reminds me of that writer-director's sensibility. Is it just me?
The Daily Mail has also included some stills of the upcoming WWII drama that give us a closer look at some of its dapperly dressed stars. First up is Bill Murray as one of the art experts under Stout's employ. Prior to The Monuments Men, Murray had co-starred opposite Clooney in Anderson's spirited and animated adaptation of the Roald Dahl book Fantastic Mr. Fox. He was the cussing Badger to Clooney's conniving Fox.
Damon co-stars as James Rorimer, seen here having cocktails with Clooney's Stout. The Monuments Men is the latest in a long line of Clooney-Damon ventures that include Stephen Soderbergh's Ocean's Eleven through 13 as well as the Clooney-helmed Confessions of a Dangerous Mind and the Clooney produced Syriana.
Flanked by Damon and Clooney in this shot is Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville as a British officer, not unlike the Earl of Grantham. Okay, so it's a different era, but the uniform and Bonneville's in-charge carriage offer a striking similarity to Robert Crawley.
Lastly we have a new look at Blanchett as art historian Rose Valland, a noted member of the French Resistance who secretly documented the Nazi plunders of the art of France. The Aussie actress, who awed audiences and critics alike with her performance in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine is re-teaming with Clooney for the first time since the two shared the screen in Stephen Soderbergh's WWII thriller The Good German.
The Monuments Men opens on February 7th, 2014.