In 1943, at the height of World War II, it became clear that the Germans were engaged in the systematic looting of every major art work in Europe. It was up to the soldiers and civilians who worked in the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Program to recover and repatriate this stolen art back to its rightful owners. That is the true story on which the film The Monuments Men, written by George Clooney and Grant Heslov and directed by Clooney is based. If you know anything about the actual events, you know that poetic license is in play. The choices to exercise such license are good ones in this case, as was the decision that the film wouldn’t take itself so seriously. This allowed the filmmakers to poke fun at situations where humor works, and still display the high drama that is war right up on the enemy lines.
The movie The Wolf of Wall Street is based on the memoir of Jordan Belfort, a man whose story had already inspired one movie, Boiler Room. Martin Scorsese’s film is a much better movie, and offers more insight into a man for whom there was never enough. Never enough money. Never enough sex. Never enough drugs. Jordan Belfort should be made the poster boy for the era of conspicuous consumption that went on in the late 1980s and early 1990s.