Ok, confession time – I’m not a huge fan of The Coen Brothers. I don’t think they’re bad by any means, but I’m not a die-hard fan the way many film goers are. That being said, nobody can deny that this film certainly looks interesting, partly because of the set up, but even more so because of the fantastic cast who are literally playing 1950’s versions of themselves. Add to this a memorable trailer that made me laugh out loud multiple times, and it’s safe to say that I was pretty excited for Hail, Caesar!
Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) is a Hollywood ‘fixer’ in the 1950’s studio system, and when Baird Whitlock (George Clooney), one of the biggest stars on the planet goes missing, he’s in charge of keeping the studio, the press, and the other actors in line.
There’s a reason this plot sounds a little bit thin, and that’s because this film doesn’t have much of a plot. It feels more like a string of sketches and homages to old Hollywood, loosely connected by a few characters. This both works and doesn’t work for the film.
The reason it works is that without fail, all of the best scenes in this film are the recreations of old-fashioned films and film stars, my personal favourite being Channing Tatum’s Gene Kelly tribute, who dances his way through a fantastic scene from the fictional film No Dames. The reason it doesn’t work is that when we aren’t being treated to these wonderful sequences, the film does feel a little bit slow and meandering, with a number of plot threads and characters feeling like they don’t go anywhere.
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