5 March 2013 11:41 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

While Ben Affleck may have been growing his beard for Oscar luck, his "Argo" producer George Clooney sported well-coiffed facial hair at the big awards night for a different reason: "The Monuments Men," which he's helming and starring in. The action-thriller has started production in Berlin.  A monumental cast joins Clooney: Matt Damon, Jean Dujardin, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville and John Goodman. The film is co-written and produced by Clooney and his Smokehouse Productions partner, Grant Heslov. (Heslov's eloquent Oscar acceptance speech for "Argo," followed by a mic hand-off to director-producer-star Affleck, is here.) "The Monuments Men" is based on the book by Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witler, and focuses on a World War II group tasked with retrieving artistic masterpieces stolen by plundering Nazis and returning the works to their rightful owners.  »

- Beth Hanna

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