This past weekend my friend and I had “strictly entertainment” plans for weekend, so of course our schedule had to include a visit to the cinema. After a brief examination of the available titles, we decided to give the Coen brothers’ Hail, Caesar! a go.
The movie is a light, colorful tribute to the 1950s movies and studios who made them. It is essentially a day in life of Capital Studios’ head of physical production, Eddie Mannix. Mannix’s job means he’s a solver of all studio problems. Movie stars of course create lots of problems so the hours worked by our hero are late. We are walked through a series of cameos with hilarious members of the film industry. And the real movie’s cast includes some impressive names! Just to name a few: George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Tilda Swinton, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill and of course Josh Brolin as the legendary Hollywood fixer, Eddie Mannix. What Hail, Caesar! turns out to be is a movie about making movies. But not in a very intellectual way. In a fun, parodic kind of way.
Fun (and it’s good fun!) is made of Christianity, Communism, gays (albeit subtly), cowboy movies, and generally the movie industry as a whole. It’s a pastiche, but it’s made with a lot of affection for the source material.
Stylistically the movie is gorgeous. The costumes are beautiful, the colors are warm and everything looks pretty in technicolor.
I cannot help but feel a bit disappointed about the underused cast. Scarlett Johansson’s character definitely deserved more than two scenes! So did Channing Tatum (who is working hard to prove his comedic chops). The plot clearly isn’t the most important element of this movie. What makes it watchable is the Coen brothers’ clear love of their craft and the fun everyone seems to be having on-screen. I highly encourage it to everyone who needs some light entertainment and likes a good laugh.
All images are from the movie’s official site which you can reach here.