Astrology: Film: Review: ‘The Monuments Men’ (2014)

Columbia Pictures

Columbia Pictures

A war movie, The Monuments Men uses the Martian warrior archetype not to machine-gun soldiers to their deaths but rather to save, recover and ultimately return to their rightful owners a staggering amount of art work stolen by the Nazis during World War II. And, because the Lunar principle rules the past and history, Mars here diligently and efficiently serves the Moon.

The key figure in The Monuments Men, directed and co-written by George Clooney and based on Robert M. Edsel’s and Bret Witter’s book, is Frank Stokes (Clooney). Stokes, armed with an order which President Franklin D. Roosevelt has signed, assembles a band of men imbued with a love of creative expression – an architect, a sculptor, a restorer, a museum curator, and so forth (these supporting players include Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin and Bob Balaban) – eager to preserve what Stokes calls the foundations of modern society and our way of life.

To do this, the men will rescue a mind-boggling number of masterpieces from the hands of the henchmen of Hitler who eventually wants these treasures housed in his own special Fuhrer’s edifice. As Venus rules cultural artistic output, Mars also serves Venus in the execution of Stokes’ plan.

In short, this is one of those guys’ movie in which the Feminine principle runs the show. The Monuments team members, who are not professional soldiers, leave their wives and children (Moon) to pursue a different sort of mother-and-child (Moon) prize. Their hunt is epitomized by Michelangelo’s Bruges Madonna, a piece of sculpture whose preservation represents the personal mission of disgraced British officer Donald Jeffries (Hugh Bonneville). In other touching scenes – such as when a phonograph record from a daughter and her children wishes her father (Murray) a merry Christmas, or a man holds the hand of a dying comrade – family (Moon) dominates.

The real-life feminine figure in this enterprise is Claire Simone (Cate Blanchett), who has has spent years documenting every piece of art received at the Jeu de Paume museum, in Paris, who entrusts one of Stokes’ men with her tracking information in the hope he’ll find those items. Time is of the essence, too, as the team knows Hitler wants all the goods destroyed in the event of his defeat and that the Russians – eager for some type of payback to compensate them for their huge losses during the war – would like to grab every bit of the stuff for themselves.

The archetypal secrecy of the hiding places and the eventual reveals may be all Plutonic, but, as Simone says matter of factly, this art (Venus) represents people’s lives. More expansively, it adorned homes (Moon) and pleasured the larger family (Moon) of humankind.

Astrology Film Rating: ☽♀ (Moon, Venus)

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