So when you see Joel and Ethan Coen with writing and directing credits for a movie, you can assume the film is going to be quirky. I can almost say it would be guaranteed. But you know what, I like their kind of quirky. Films like O' Brother Where Art Thou and HudsuckerProxy get regular views around here. So is this flick going to join those quirky favorites?
Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) is the man who can fix anything at the studio. Need someone to get the right actor for the drama directed by sophisticated director Laurence Laurentz (Ralph Fiennes)? Need someone to find the big star Baird Witlock (George Clooney) after he disappears from a set? Need someone to find out why the sexy starlet DeeAnna Moran (Scarlett Johansson) is less than happy with her current role? Eddie can do it all.
But things start to get complicated when it looks like Witlock may have been kidnapped. Is it a rival studio trying to crash the latest big budget biblical epic? Is it a scheme hatched by the notorious gossip columnist Thora Thacker (Tilda Swinton)? Or is it a communist plot? Eddie’s got a lot on his plate, but he isn’t going to let that slow him down. By the end of the night he’s going to make sure the film, Hail, Caesar!, gets its lead actor back.
- Josh Brolin gives an excellent performance
- Lots of fun moments for fans of classic Golden age films
- Makes for a fun game of spot the actress/actor
- The tone of the film is all over the place
- Feels like it was a longer movie that got edited down
- If you don’t like golden age Hollywood films or don’t know much about how they were made, this movie may not click for you
I enjoyed this movie quite a bit. If you know about the Hollywood studio system of the 50s then you’ll find lots of satirical fun at hand. But the tone of the film careens from silly, to serious and back again. Combined with scenes that feel like they were trimmed down, and you get a movie that is a bit of an uneven ride. Recommended to folks who enjoy TCM.
Scores (out of 5)
Curious about a full review, sent me an email and I’ll make additional thoughts to this review.
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