Monuments Men
"Monuments Men"

The conversation until now has positioned George Clooney's "Monuments Men" as an "Ocean's Eleven"-esque WWII caper, but not a serious Oscar contender. But that talk will likely change with the arrival of the newest trailer for the film, one that still has the lighter tone of the first teaser, but is imbued with some serious elements.

Clooney pulls triple duty here, co-writing, starring and directing, alongside a bunch of his pals old and new—Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, and Cate Blanchett—in this adaptation of Robert M. Edsel's book about a band of soldiers tasked with recovering artwork stolen by the Nazis. Here's the new official synopsis: 

Based on the true story of the greatest treasure hunt in history, The Monuments Men is an action drama focusing on an unlikely World War II platoon, tasked by FDR with going into Germany to rescue artistic masterpieces from Nazi thieves and returning them to their rightful owners.  It would be an impossible mission: with the art trapped behind enemy lines, and with the German army under orders to destroy everything as the Reich fell, how could these guys – seven museum directors, curators, and art historians, all more familiar with Michelangelo than the M-1 – possibly hope to succeed?  But as the Monuments Men, as they were called, found themselves in a race against time to avoid the destruction of 1000 years of culture, they would risk their lives to protect and defend mankind’s greatest achievements.

True story? Check. Big stars? Check. Stirringly told? Sure looks like it. We'll let the prognosticators duel it out, but it looks like "Monuments Men" will be in the fix this fall as the awards contenders continue to muscle for votes.

"Monuments Men" opens on December 18th.