I have always been a fan of The Coen Brothers and their films. Lately, they have done more dramas and serious films. However, “Hail, Caesar” is a film quite satirical. The Coen Brothers bring us a film that has a “Fargo” (1996) feel with and a little bit of “O Brother Where Art Thou” (2000). However, it does not rely on violence and it contains very less profound language. Surprisingly, the funny works without the language.
The film follows a Hollywood fixer in the 1950s, Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin). Mannix is doing all he can to keep his studio in line running. He is someone that stresses out about a lot of elements of his Hollywood job. He has numerous movie stars. There is Baird Whitlock (George Clooney), Hobey Dole (Alden Ehrenreich), DeeAnna Moran (Scarlett Johansson), and Burt Gurney (Channing Tatum). Each of them is involved with different productions, however the top-notch actor is Whitlock. Whitlock is the center of attention for most of the film.
Whitlock is kidnapped and that causes Mannix’s studio to go down the hill with a variety of conflicts. This includes a crazy journalist wanting the truth of Whitlock’s disappearance, disorganizations with production of Whitlock’s biggest movie, and the studio having financial issues. Viewers may think a kidnapping is the main problem based off the commercials, but that is not one, there is more to the kidnapping then viewers think.
“Hail, Caesar” is carefully paced. What is good about it’s pacing is it does not rely on dialogue trying hard to be what is funny. The plot points and the ridiculous scenarios that come unexpectedly is what can be entertaining. One moment, a man is kidnapped, another an issue with the studio goes insane, there is not knowing a definite answer of the hysterical conflicts among the actors.
The technical aspect of this movie that is vast is the cinematography; the cinematographer was done by Roger Deakins who did the cinematography for The Coen Brothers western “True Grit” (2010). The projection was shot in 35-millimeter projection, and that is how most films set in the 1950s feel realistic. I have watched a variety of films in 35-millimeter over the years, but “Hail, Caesar” made me feel like I was a local watching a classic with everyone in old-fashioned print on the big screen. It is a fun time at the movies with The Coen Brothers.