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Movie Review: Hail, Caesar!

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Eddie Mannix is on the case at Capitol Pictures in the Coen brothers’ Hail, Caesar!

Over the years, Joel and Ethan Coen have created several masterpieces. Fargo and The Big Lebowski are among them. As well as their 2010 remake of True Grit, which sadly is becoming overlooked. Last year, the Coen brothers wrote the screenplay for Steven Spielberg’s masterful Bridge of Spies. Their latest picture–Hail, Caesar!–redefines the term “epic comedy”. Not only is the film funny, it’s also big in its scope (kudos to the great cinematographer Roger Deakins).

It’s the 1950s. Eddie Mannix is a “fixer” at Capitol Pictures. He cleans up and solves problems regarding the studio’s big stars. These include:

  • DeAnna Moran (Scarlett Johansson), who gets pregnant during production and must adopt her child.
  • Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenrich), a famous Western star who is assigned a part in a drama directed by Laurence Laurentz (Ralph Fiennes, providing the film’s funniest scene)
  • Burt Gurney (Channing Tatum), the main star of a sailor comedy-musical.

The company’s biggest film to date will be Hail, Caesar!, an epic set in ancient Rome. While filming, the film’s star Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) passes out after drinking a goblet of wine drugged by one of the extras. A Communist group called “The Future” kidnaps him to a beach house. And Mannix is on the case.

With numerous comedies containing toilet humor, this satire and love letter to 1950s cinema is a breath of fresh air! It has a huge list of A-list actors, offbeat humor, gorgeous cinematography, and a toe-tapping musical number (sang and danced by no other than Channing Tatum). Its purpose is to entertain rather than to provoke thought. Even though it’s not the Coen brothers’ latest masterpiece (in fact, there are times in which the tone can be rather off), it seems like they are having as much fun as their cast and the audience.

3/4

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