Hail, Caesar! is a delight. Set in the fifties at the height of musical movie madness, it was a time when Gene Kelly and favorite dance partner Fred Astaire tapped and swooned to golden tunes, when every woman wanted sharp-witted Clark Gable or leather-tanned Cary Grant to sweep them up, when the ladies of the hour were few but interchangeable unless they could stand out as dancers or swimmers. The silver screen was a small world full of dazzling stars with clean slates.Here in Hail, an ensemble of A+ stars play one-dimensional dolts and hardline honeys clamping Clooney in with communists, sharing Fiennes’s finesse as a classic actor, making Tatum tap on tables, and showing Scarlett Jo flap her fins. It’s elegantly laced with narration following the work day of Josh Brolin, one heartfelt Hollywood Studio manager bent on doing what is right.Three layers pervade the dialogue throughout the film: the existing value, despite obvious divisions, within religious beliefs, political biases, and movie making.We follow the film producer who questions the merits of the industry and his work in it. Walking the ridgepole of his decision, he scoops in as handyman at the helm holding all things at the studio in harmony, fending off poparazzi wolves, endearingly all played by Tilda Swinton. We attend a premiere with a fresh faced all-western cowhand. He croons sincerely while the audience roars over slapstick sloshings. Division. Value?Clooney’s character is held hostage by men claiming to be communist writers who feel they must buck the system and capsize the studio called the Capitol.The film Hail, Caesar! is the film within the film showing a Roman guard gaining perspective for life and truth at the feet of the crucified Christ. An honest dialogue between four faiths ensues, speaking the blatant confusing disparities without preaching tolerance and without honoring one above another. The audience sits in, laughs, enjoys.So, religion & politics, long-time taboo topics, are fair game for the Coens who even take stabs at their own art: filmmaking. Could it be that the Coen brothers, perhaps better known for writing and directing darker films like Fargo and No Country for Old Men, have made a picture for the picture’s sake? For fun? Poking fun at film has rarely been this delightful. Shakespeare did the same thing, sneering at all people groups, allowing for pure comedy to shine through, for people to laugh at each other, at themselves, at life. Hail the conquering Coens as they cart us along by chariot in this perfectly lovely philosophical journey dipped in sweet, aesthetic, syrupy comedy.
Being a fan of Old Hollywood, I loved the connections made throughout the whole film. Very enjoyable!
Very good and funny