A comedy, and a scintillating, uproarious one, filled with fast and light touches of exquisite incongruity in scenes that have the expansiveness of relaxed precision, performed and timed with the spontaneous authority of jazz.
Hail, Caesar! is basically a day in the life of this studio cop, whose job is his religion. And Brolin, in a heart-and-soul performance, takes this crazy quilt of a movie about a man surrounded by nut jobs and plays it for real. He's just tremendous.
Hail, Caesar! has a dry, deadpan humour to it that is like all Coen brothers films. And like many other Coen brothers films it has a surreal and abstract quality to it too. The story and theme is not clear at first, but it is a film to make you think, and once you realise what the film is about (hint: faith and the role you play in life) Hail, Caesar! becomes a film that is both a lover letter to 50's Hollywood and a deeper look at how a man trying to chose between taking a job that is easy but boring, or a job that is hard, muddled yet far more interesting.
Hail, Caesar! 2016
Listing everything this movie is "about" would be an exercise in absurdity (although that's kind of fitting, considering that most of--if not all of--the Coens' movies are exercises in absurdity). Need more time to digest this, but it's genius. A meta movie that plays like a series of movies-within-movies, whilst never getting so caught up in itself that you forget that you're watching a single film unto itself. That's the structural/stylistic approach of Hail, Caesar!, but I need to sleep on it before I can attempt to verbally lay out its thematic density.
Their amalgamations can be feats of genius, like their stoner-gumshoe farrago "The Big Lebowski." Or they can pretty much lie there, like much of their new, star-packed comedy, Hail, Caesar!, which is nothing but movie fodder.
In short, there are an awful lot of subplots and comic characters but none of the actors in this star-studded cast is allowed to build his laughs and the Coens just abandon several of these vivid personalities along the way.
Odd coincidence that at this very time I'm reading a book that is strikingly similar to this film: ****' Little Dorrit; both are scathing reviews; the film a screed of an indictment of Hollywood and its misfits from the near-mid-20th century, the novel a screed of an indictment, just as colorful I might add, of London "society" and its most unfortunate misfits, mid 19th century. Both are brilliant!
Hail, Caesar! I was completely unimpressed. Perhaps I have too high a degree of expectation from the films of the Koen brothers, but not a strong cast, not a good satire over Hollywood in the 60s before the abolition of the Hayes code did not convince me. Hail, Caesar! sort of like a comedy, but it hardly makes the viewer laugh. The film is not bad in itself, but cranberries about the Russian KGB and the protracted plot disappoints
Only good for certain types of viewers. What helps is the star studded cast. This pays homage to a good deal of the entire movie process – the writers, production sets, movie stars, dancing and musicals, etc. This has a place in history and in our worlds for providing some comedic transparency and as a lookback to the evolution of movie production. I appreciate those aspects, but didn’t find it as entertaining as other (Coen) films.
19 years. That's how long I've been a Cohen Bros fan. I like all their movies. Even A Serious Man and their more obscure works. But this film just isn't that funny or that entertaining. It's only slightly so.