Film Review: Hail, Caesar!
Joel and Ethan Coen’s comedy Hail, Caesar! is a delightful watch. The filmmakers pay homage to the Hollywood studio system while also lampooning it.
Eddie Mannix is a studio fixer. Eddie has to contend with any number of issues that may arise with the studio’s roster of stars. When a famous movie star disappears, Eddie has one more problem to fix…
Writers and directors Joel and Ethan Coen’s Hail, Caesar! blends different aspects of the Hollywood studio system to create a comedy with a healthy dose of mystery. The film focuses on the central character of the studio fixer. This works well as a narrative device to include various minor storylines. Smaller characters are weaved into Eddie’s day. The central plot of Baird’s disappearance proves interesting in that it retains a sense of mystery for a significant duration. Devices are used to retain this mystery in Hail, Caesar!, even when certain aspects of this story are revealed.
The Coen brothers playfully poke fun at various aspects of classical Hollywood. This ranges from the archetypal on screen action to the gossip and the backstage going ons. Some the the sequences in Hail, Caesar! are very tongue in cheek; viewers should lap these up. There are also some very well written exchanges. The film depicts a marked difference between classic and contemporary Hollywood. Studios no longer retain quite the control they did, although the marketing of stars is still very recognisable.
Sets and costumes in Hail, Caesar! are luscious. Costume designer Mary Zophres really captures the look of the era. Roger Deakins’ cinematography is as wonderful as ever. Josh Brolin, Ralph Fiennes and George Clooney offer good performances. Alden Ehrenreich does well among more established actors. Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum and Scarlett Johansson are decent in minor roles.
Hail, Caesar! is a must see for fans of films about the film industry. Other viewers will find the film most entertaining.