Saturday, February 6, 2016

Hail Caesar

Plot: Hail Caesar is a spoof of 1950's movie studios. It tells the story of Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), the busy head of movie studio, and it has three subplots; star Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) getting kidnapped off the set and being held for ransom; Western star Bert Gurney (Alden Ehrenreich) making a high society picture badly; and DeeAnna Moran (Scarlett Johansson), a clone of Ester Williams, who is pregnant and between husbands.  [imdb]    [photos]

Review: Hail Caesar mocks life in 50's America with absurdities and with a cleverly ironic plot. It is about a one day in Mannix's life and how insane it is. He need to deal with his crazy stars who are kidnapped, pregnant or way out-of-his element. Josh Brolin plays Mannix as if he were the real Caesar of the title.

George Clooney is all over the trailer, and he has a few great reaction shots. His part is not that large.

A highlight is the dialog between Mannix and his priest where he talks about his job, and how it is hard but he feels a calling. He compares that to taking a higher paying job at Lockheed. The movie seems to think making movies is more important, and this may be the real message of the film from the Coens.

As I left the movie, I said 2 stars, not so fun, only a little funny, and what was the point? As I write about it, I see it has a message from our celebrity writer/producer/directors justifying their life work. In that sense it is autobiograpical, and a love note to their industry. 

Cast: Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlatte Johansson, Channing Tatum

Written and directed by:
Joel and Ethan Coen

The Music: Not so good. Mostly tinny period music played for effect. There was one great saxophone number that I loved. 

The Visuals:
It looks like a Fifties movie made on a set. 

2.5 stars: Not so fun to watch, but clever and ironic. I enjoyed seeing it. An extra half star for the autobiographical stamp. 


More: A highlight is an all-male sailors dance scene featuring Channing Tatum, which seen from 2016 is obviously gay. Too easy a gag to skip.

Even More: Mannix is the Caesar of the title. He has a map of the studio on the wall as if it were a country. He wins a few of his battles, but mostly he just lives to fight another day, and he enjoys the fight.