If all you know about this film is what you saw from the previews, you know little about this film. If you paid attention to how few details were given in the trailers you knew ahead of time that your uncertainty was designed. This film deals with an abduction, sure, but it's so much more than that. This film takes you on a journey of movie-making that will entertain you, confuse you and tickle you in multiple ways. The Coen Brothers have successfully delivered to us, the movie-going audience, a film unique in its delivery but familiar in its story and because of that "Hail, Caesar!" is quite the cinematic experience.
The film has a cavalcade of all star talent that is peppered throughout the film. It's remarkable how a cast this talented was even manageable but that's the Coen Brothers for you. They managed to get each talent to portray a particular hollywood stereotype so splendidly this film managed to be about multiple films in a film. I can think of maybe two other films I've enjoyed that share that theme, one is "Get Shorty" and the other is "What Just Happened" but neither do as well as "Hail, Caesar!" to create this particular worlds within a world atmosphere.
The primary story or pulse of the film deals with the character "Eddie Mannix" played by Josh Brolin. This entire movie rests upon the fact this character must survive and succeed in his daily dealings with the Hollywood people. Everything that happens, to each character, somehow manages to find its way to his office and his desk. Each character has their own tale that is occurring and by the end of the film we find out that it's all connected but if you blink, laugh or bathroom break you might miss the one line that connects the dots you're following.
The moments in this film that really elevate this to the next level are embedded deep in the story. It feels natural and humorous all at the same time. The fact the communists are wanting equality and better wages while sitting in a mansion on the beaches of Mailbu, California was just one of the humorous moments. The song and dance number felt like something ripped from the projector of a theater circa 1950. There was delightful choreography and charming dialogue. The scene with the director trying to voice coach the actor... amazing. There is much to be enjoyed but at the end of the day, it's a Coen Brother's film which means it won't necessarily end the way you think it will or should for that matter.
"Hail, Caesar!" is in theaters now! I give this movie all the Tilda Swinton's imaginable and after you see the film that reference will make sense. So go see it and enjoy that reference with me. If you like to laugh this is for you. If you like a story peppered with irony, for you. If you enjoy character study films, also for you. This film has something for everyone unless you only like the horror genre. If that's the case, why on earth are you even reading this review? Go watch someone get chopped up or possessed and stop reading this but do share it with someone you know who enjoys more movies than you.
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