George Clooney out of Best Director Oscar race as Monuments Men pushed back to 2014

The actor was concerned the effects would look 'cheesy' without an extra month to give the film some added polish

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The Independent Culture

Any hopes George Clooney had of picking up the Oscar for Best Director will have to wait at least another year, as his new film The Monuments Men has been pushed back to 2014 and out of awards contention.

The movie, which follows a group of art historians and academics as they try to rescue artworks looted by the Nazis, was thought to have been a major contender for multiple Academy Awards based on Clooney's past reputation.

The actor-director won a Best Supporting Actor gong for his role in Syriana in 2005, and joined Ben Affleck in bagging the Best Picture award for Argo at this year’s ceremony (he served as a producer on the film).

But Clooney, who also has a role in Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity opposite Sandra Bullock, said it hadn't been possible to complete the visual effects in time for its December release date.

He told the Los Angeles Times: "We just didn't have enough time. If any of the effects looked cheesy, the whole movie would look cheesy. We simply don't have enough people to work enough hours to finish it."

Clooney and his production partner Grant Heslov arrived in London this week to score the film, but they soon realised they were facing an impossible task.

"I looked at Grant and said, 'We're dying,'" he said. "It was a mad rush to do it from the very beginning."

Clooney said he was glad to get an extra month to finish the film, as he wouldn't want to have his name on something that looks as though it "was all done in the computer".

He didn't appear to be too hurt by the idea of dropping out of the Oscar race, saying: "All we've ever said, from the very beginning, is that we wanted to make a commercial, non-cynical piece of entertainment."

The Monuments Men is now expected to be released in the first quarter of next year.