★★★★★ – “Hail, The Coen Brothers!”
Hail, Caesar! is written & directed by Joel & Ethan Coen and stars Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Scarlett Johansson and Channing Tatum.
Set in the heart of 1950s Hollywood filmmaking, follow a day in the life of Capitol Pictures fixer Eddie Mannix, who solves problems for stars in the industry. When Baird Whitlock, the star of ‘Hail, Caeser!’ goes missing, Eddie must deal with more than just the fix.
THE COEN BROTHERS return with another beautiful piece of cinema. The 50s have never looked better on-screen with their incredible direction and charming screenplay. Roger Deakins teams up with the Bros. yet again with some of the most stunning visuals seen this year. It’s unfortunate that this film has seen mostly bad reviews, and I can see where most people are coming from when I read through them. But as with all of the Coen Bros. films, the audience is split right down the middle. You either love or you hate, there is no in between. I personally found this to be a wonderful experience, I chuckled countable times throughout and whilst it’s not the most complex story, there definitely is one present. I’ve seen a few people say it’s just a lot of random scenes thrown together, but I didn’t think it was like that at all. The best way to watch a film is to go in with no expectations. I saw this thinking it was going to be bad because I had read reviews but I came out with a smile on my face.
Josh Brolin and George Clooney steal the screen with their ingenious and genuine performances, given the circumstances of the plot. The advertising may have you believe there’s a lot of big names featured in the film – Jonah Hill is one of them – but they only have a short amount of screen time. Ralph Fiennes was brilliant in his scenes with Alden Ehrenreich, truly great chemistry and very simple writing, but the way it was delivered made it seem genius.
Music by returning regular Carter Burwell was just as great as his previous work with the Coen’s and approaches with huge choirs and orchestral movements. It feels aged and this is what is so brilliant about his work on this film. It blends in perfectly. Another beautiful score I’ll be purchasing.
The Coen’s direct in such a complex way, that you can watch their films over and over again and pick up on things you may have missed the first time round. They capture the art of filmmaking in the 50s to a tee. It’s a comedy satire, and it’s extraordinarily good. The musical & dance numbers are also surprisingly catchy and fun to watch. Overall, it’s not hilariously funny – but then it’s not hilariously bad, either. It’s a nice medium.
Verdict; Hail, Caesar! triumphs in its old fashioned and simple storytelling and will not disappoint the fans. Spend a day in 1950s Hollywood and see this film.
Hail, Caesar! – ★★★★★ (9/10)