"Based on a True Story:" Clooney transforms a 38 year-old, tall, gay stud into a tiny 68 year-old weakling.
The list of what I'd endure for Thebes does not extend to sitting through writer-director-star George Clooney's "tepid" (USA Today), "lifeless" (Variety), "pandering" (NYT), "self-congratulatory" (AV Club), "failure" (EW, which gave it a C-) of "threadbare formula and sentimental cliches" (Wash Post), The Monuments Men, so I can't report the exact extent to which he's degayed the real men and women who rescued art stolen by the Nazis. One clue can be found here: The character based on the imposing, six-foot, broad-shouldered uber queer Lincoln Kirstein age 38 in May 1945 is played by five-foot-five, 68 year-old Bob Balaban who in these interviews says he didn't study Kirstein for his role as "Preston Savitz" and no Q or A mentions anything gay. Nor do critics. Balaban hints "many of his key characteristics weren’t necessarily written into my part of the movie." But he's small and sensitive and struggles to climb a wall and he's the only one of them who wears spectacles, so audiences will get it, right? Why be honest about actual gay heroics in history when you can rely on stale signifiers and sissy stereotypes?
While still shy of gay contributions, the better telling of these events is in Lynn Nicholas' NBCC winning The Rape of Europa: The Fate of Europe's Treasures in the Third Reich and the Second World War which was made into this documentary.