How many Oscar nominees can you fit into one cast? Okay, Daniel Craig, you’ll get there, but in addition to the “Skyfall” actor, director George Clooney has filled out the cast of his World War II drama “The Monuments Men” with Cate Blanchett (“The Aviator”), Bill Murray (“Lost in Translation”) and Jean Dujardin (“The Artist”), in addition to John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville and Bob Balaban.
That’s a lot of fire power. But Clooney can wrangle that kind of talent easily. He’s one of Hollywood’s golden boys, primed to receive an Oscar nomination in his sixth category for producing “Argo” this year. Deadline reports that the film, based on a true story and written by Clooney and partner Grant Heslov, tells of a crew of art historians and museum curators who scrambled to recover renown works of art stolen by the Nazi regime, destined to be destroyed.
“The Monuments Men were a group of men and women from thirteen nations, most of whom volunteered, who had expertise as museum directors, curators, art scholars and educators, artists, architects, and archivists,” the Monuments Men Foundation website reads. “The Monuments Men job description was simple: to save as much of the culture of Europe as they could during combat.”
The Deadline story doesn’t indicate whether it’s an original screenplay or based on Robert M. Edsel’s book of the same name. It does, however, note that the “Argo” crew is tapped for the film, though it only mentions Alexandre Desplat (who scored Clooney’s “The Ides of March”) by name. So I’m only assuming that means that DP Rodrigo Prieto and film editor William Goldenberg, among others, are on board.
Filming is set to begin on March 1 in Europe. Will we be talking about it in another year or two as an awards player? Well, one thing’s for sure. “Oscar nominee…” will be all over the trailer’s credits.