George Clooney’s “The Monuments Men” will be among the last of the season’s potential Oscar candidates to reveal itself — skipping the festival circuit, the film will open in the US on the prime holiday-season date of December 18. And while we have little else to go on right now, the project certainly doesn’t lack for kerb appeal: a high-gloss Second World War adventure with an all-star cast including Clooney, Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, Jean Dujardin, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville and Bob Balaban.
Clooney, it seems, can do no wrong with Oscar voters at the moment: at eight-time nominee across six categories, he nabbed his second Oscar in February as the producer of Best Picture champ “Argo,” joining the likes of Michael Douglas and Emma Thompson on the elite list of actors to have won for their work before and behind the camera. And his last directorial effort, “The Ides of March,” earned him a writing nomination despite wilting elsewhere in the race: They like him, in case the point had escaped you.
Still, the marketers behind “The Monuments Men” aren’t merely counting on Clooney Power to sell the film as a major contender. This second trailer for the true-life tale of wartime derring-do, centered on a specialist military crew of art experts who team up to rescue an array of stolen classic works from the clutches of the Nazis, goes all in on the virtuous “art is important” message — one that’ll surely resonate with Academy types. (Hey, they’ve gone three years without a WWII film in the Best Picture mix. How long can they hold out?)
Where the film’s first trailer, unveiled in August, underlined the film’s more comic aspects — lending it the appearance of “Ocean’s Eleven” in jackboots — the new one is heavy on the stirring drama and ennobling music. I thought the first one was rather more fun, but they clearly mean serious business. Will the film deliver on its promise? Check out the trailer below and tell us what you think.