I have seen quite a few other positive reviews of Hail Caesar this week and while I did enjoy it and enjoy the Coen Brothers quirky and inventive sense of humour, for me at least it lacked something.
Right off the bat, this is a movie that has some great set pieces and is beautifully realised ,but not sure that all the scenes tied together. This is the Coen Brothers love letter to the golden era of Hollywood.
Set in 1950’s America, we find Eddie Mannix ( Josh Brolin ) as the head of Capitol Pictures, he spends most of his time trying to portray his movie stars in a positive light to those in the trade and gossip press. However despite his best efforts some of his movie stars find it hard to stay on the straight and narrow. At the same time, he is also being headhunted by Lockheed Aerospace for a top position with the company.
His biggest challenge however is presented when the star of his latest picture, Hail Caesar – Baird Whitlock (|George Clooney ) is kidnapped by a shadowy rag tag band of communist sympathising Hollywood writers called The Future who feel they have been unfairly targeted by those in power. That in essence is the heart of the story with individual well crafted scenes tacked on.
There are quite a few laugh out loud moments in this movie, my favourite being when the actress Francis Mc Dormand, who portrays a film editor finds herself being drawn into her own editing machine thanks to her bad choice of clothing. Another one of note is between Laurence Laurenz ( Ralph Fiennes ) an English Hollywood director who tries to direct Tobey ( Alden Ehrenreich ) an actor who is perfectly cast for his Western hero role but has been shoehorned into a role by the studio that really does not suit him. Why ? well despite Laurence’s best efforts, Tobey just can’t shift that Western drawl.
Everybody in this movie is giving great performance, but I suppose I could sum up the movie like this. You know when you get that big box of chocolate delights at Christmas, but you open it up and there are way too many of those long blue wrapped ones and not enough of the Strawberry centered ones in the mix. You hoped for more but what you got wasn’t truly satisfying.