Do you ever ask the question, “What in the world?” when you are sitting in a movie audience? Is there ever so much laughter that you cannot hear the dialogue? This was the feeling and atmosphere when I went to see Hail, Caesar! The film was released nationwide (USA) on February 5. It is star-studded, with actors like George Clooney and Ralph Fiennes. Directed and written by Joel and Ethan Coen, Hail, Caesar! is a very entertaining and different film.
For Old Hollywood fans, this film is a dream come true. Hail, Caesar! is set in the 1950s at Capitol Pictures. Everything has a vintage look and feel. Every type of Old Hollywood film, like aquatic films and musicals, are displayed. The story follows a day in the life of studio executive Eddie Mannix, played by Josh Brolin. Mannix is the one who sorts out all of the studios’ and actors’ problems, from unplanned pregnancies to thick Texan accents. The job is no walk in the park because the people Mannix has to interact with can be downright bizarre. Of course, hilarity ensues, creating great laughs and surprises.
The film is loaded with big name actors and actresses. Alongside Josh Brolin, George Clooney stars as Baird Whitlock, who is the top actor at Capitol Pictures. Alden Ehrenreich plays Hobie Doyle, a sweet but unintelligent western actor who cannot seem to lose his very strong Texan accent. This character is hilarious and causes most of the laughs. Scarlett Johansson portrays DeeAnna Moran, an Esther Williams-like aquatic actress. Ralph Fiennes has the role of Laurence Laurentz, the classic Old Hollywood director with a calm demeanor. Channing Tatum is Burt Gurney, a character with elements of Gene Kelly. He performs one musical number that is very fun and amusing to watch. There are small roles played by Jonah Hill and Frances McDormand as well. This cast is excellent.
The Coen Brothers are known for their unique style of filmmaking. Hail, Caesar! does not fall short of this expectation as far as unusual goes. This film does not have a very deep plot at all. It merely shows studio life in the 1950s and everything that came with it. It has a satirical feel. Being a big fan of movies from the Golden Age of Cinema, I loved the setting and style of this film. The photography was terrific. There are many subtle references to films from the 1950s. Hail, Caesar! explores the old ways of editing, acting, and using sound stages.
This film is more entertaining than anything else. There are tons of laughs and strange plot twists. To be honest, I really was not sure what to make of it while walking out of the theater. It ends abruptly without a real finish to the plot. But I guess this just says that Eddie Mannix deals with these events daily, so they really never end. I liked this film, but I think it really depends on the person. If you are a fan of Old Hollywood, you will find it enjoyable to watch.
This film is rated PG-13.
(Image credit to http://www.hailcaesarmovie.com)