Hail, Caesar!

New from the desk of The Movie Snob.

Hail, Caesar!  (B-).  With the glaring and painful exception of Barton Fink, I have yet to see a Coen brothers movie I didn’t like.  (Granted, I haven’t seen them all.)  True Grit, The Big Lebowski, and O Brother Where Art Thou? are all classics in my book.  Their current release has its pleasures, but I think it is definitely a lesser entry in the Coen canon.  It’s a pure comedy and a tribute to the movies of the 1940s and 1950s.  (Apparently there are a gazillion references to movies and Hollywood scandals of that era.  They went over my head, but I think I did catch an homage to Fargo.)  Josh Brolin (Sicario) stars as Eddie Mannix, a honcho for Capital Studios who is pulled in a million directions at once as he tries to keep his movies and his movie stars out of trouble.  George Clooney (Intolerable Cruelty) costars as Baird Whitlock, a matinee idol who is supposed to be starring in a big Ben Hur-like production but who has been kidnaped by a mysterious group called The Future.  And there are scads of other stars on hand, including Ralph Fiennes (The Grand Budapest Hotel) as a fey director of costume dramas, Scarlett Johansson (Lost in Translation) as a pregnant movie star in a mermaid suit, and Channing Tatum (She’s the Man) as the star of a South Pacific-like musical.  I enjoyed the energy of the picture, but it didn’t really seem to add up to much—except maybe to say gee, isn’t show biz crazy?

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3 comments on “Hail, Caesar!

  1. […] There is a decent story buried in this movie, under many layers of garbage. Seth (Jonah Hill, Hail, Caesar!) and Evan (Michael Cera, Juno) are best friends. They are also high-school seniors on the verge of […]

  2. […] arrival of Marianne’s former lover, manic record producer Harry Hawkes (Ralph Fiennes, Hail, Caesar!) and his 22-year-old daughter Penelope (Dakota Johnson, How to Be Single).  Sexual tension runs in […]

  3. […] complications ensure when Viola falls for her roommate, Duke Orsino (a very young Channing Tatum, Hail, Caesar!), who is in love with Olivia, who is in love with “Sebastian” (who is really Viola). […]

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