HAIL CAESAR Reviewed
Written and Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen
Starring: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Alden Ehrenreich, Channing Tatum, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand
Josh Brolin plays Eddie Mannix a studio fixer in the 1950s. HAIL CAESAR details the challenges presented to him in one long day. The real Mannix was apparently not a nice guy, but Brolin’s Mannix is written differently. He goes to confession daily for one thing.
This is a movie of bits and most of them work well. If you are looking to take away some large arc, some deep critique of the studio system or the 1950s, you will not find one. But if you are happy to watch singing, lassoing cowboys, swimming mermaids, clunky biblical epics, the (comically played) influence of communism on fifties Hollywood, etc., you will find much to like here. I doubt this will fall into the top half of Coen Brother movies, but I can think of at least a half-dozen I liked less.
In addition to being the Crimespree Senior Film Critic, Patti has penned numerous short stories and her debut novel, CONCRETE ANGEL, is in stores now. She hosts a look at Forgotten Books every Friday with readers, writers and reviewers at pattinase.blogspot.com. She hopes you’ll join in.