You will either love or hate this. Coen fans who thought “Inside Llewyn Davis” was terrific will detest “Hail, Caesar!”. It lacks that all-knowing ironic and posing quality that many adore.
It’s the most straightforward Coen movie since “Fargo”. Paying homage to Hollywood in the 1950s gets you a bunch of different films within the film. The central tale hangs around the actor George Clooney, who plays a dual role as a Roman who meets Jesus and the thespian playing the part. He is kidnapped by Communists. They talk politics and philosophy and call themselves “The Future”.
Josh Brolin is fabulous as a studio executive who is trying to deal with personal and professional problems. Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Scarlett Johansson, Alden Ehrenreich and Frances McDormand have super scenes. But Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum both have a whale of a time and I enjoyed their turns.
And the little dog called Engels is very amusing.
The clothes, homes and cars of the 1950s all look marvellous. I laughed a great deal.
All the audience at the Stratford East Picturehouse really enjoyed it and laughed and sighed at the right times.
It’s brave and different and will annoy many. But I had a wonderful time watching it and never even peeked at my watch.
I feel I’ve had a holiday in the 1950s. And I thought a great deal about some of the concepts, after the film ended.
Superb entertainment and lots to think about makes this a win/win for me. It will make my top 10 list of the year and I really want to see it again.
The soundtrack is superb. How often do you get the Russian Red Army Chorus doing super tunes? That alone won me over.
Originality and playfulness kept my attention and made me love this, very much.