The already crowded Oscar season just got the first trailer for yet another early Best Picture frontrunner: George Clooney's The Monuments Men, which tells the true story of a concentrated Allied effort to protect monuments, paintings, and other important cultural artifacts from destruction during World War II. "If you destroy an entire generation of people's culture, it's as if they never existed," says Clooney in the trailer. "That's what Hitler wants, and it's the one thing we can't allow."
In a fall season loaded with ensemble dramas, The Monuments Men might have the most stacked cast of all: George Clooney, Matt Damon, John Goodman, Cate Blanchett, Bill Murray, and The Artist star Jean Dujardin. But even without all the star power, The Monuments Men seems like a surefire winner: It's such an inherently fascinating and cinematic story that it's surprising it took this long for someone to turn it into a movie. In fact, it has more than a little in common with last year's Best Picture winner, Argo: It's a tense drama with room for levity, co-starring John Goodman, that's based on a true story and directed by its star (in this case, George Clooney). There's a lot of promise here — but we won't know for sure whether The Monuments Men has a chance at finding Oscar glory until it comes out in December.