FLICKANALYSIS

HAIL CAESAR!-Karl “The Flick Fanatic” Sides

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George Clooney leads an All – Star cast in a comedic look at Hollywood in the late 50’s with the film from the Coen Brothers, “HAIL CAESAR!”

It is Hollywood’s “golden age” and everyone is going to escape life at the movies. Joel and Ethan Coen wrote and directed a comical look at the Hollywood movie studio and its stars in their new comedy “Hail Caesar!” Caesar has a VIP cast led by George Clooney and also stars Scarlett Johansson, Josh Brolin, Jonah Hill, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand and Channing Tatum in a screwy comedy surrounding a mysterious kidnapping.

Eddie Mannix (Brolin), is the head of Capitol Pictures movie studio. Mannix spends long hours at the studio making sure all the pictures stay on track and checks in nightly with the church for a confession because he is stealing cigarettes and lying about it to his wife. Capitol pictures is hanging everything on their big picture, a roman epic with leading man Baird Whitlock (George Clooney). Mannix get a religeous group comprised of a rabbi, irish Catholic priest, minister and Orthodox Jew to cover the studio on the scenes with God. Mannix hoped to prevent protests and instead got a roundtable discussion on views of God and instead of objecting to the religeous content, they all had notes on ways to film the movie better. This meeting brought a chuckle to the crowd.

During filming a couple of extras slip Whitlock a “micky” and take off with the star after he passes out at his trailer. Baird is known for going off on benders, so Mannix is not concerned when he disappears. Eddie has his hands full with an actress, DeeAnna Moran (Johansson), that makes water ballet pictures and has a wholesome image only to turn up pregnant and unwed. Eddie and studio paper pusher Joe Silverman (Hill) come up with a plan to have he adopt her own child.

Laurence Laurent (Fiennes), director at Capitol studios, is struggling with pronunciation with lines in his new musical after he was saddled with western star Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich) who says everything with a twang. he is demanding Mannix do something but Eddie is being hounded by the twin gossip columnists sisters Thora and Thessaly Thacker (Tilda Swinton). Just another day for a studio executive?

Mannix then gets the ransom note to bring $100,000 to a sound stage where singer/dancer Burt Gurney (Tatum) is doing a singing sailor picture. But who is behind the Whitlock kidnapping and why only $100 k?

Want to find out, go see “Hail Caesar!”

Caesar is funny, but in typical Coen Brothers fashion you will need to see the film a few times to get everything out of it. The Coens take shots at their fellow writers and Communism (Trumbo),  Johansson doing her best Esther Williams and Tatum doing a fantastic Gene Kelly. One of the funniest scenes has Francis McDormand as the chain smoking film tech showing Mannix the dailies when her scarf is caught in the projector and almost strangles her before Mannix hits the reverse button.

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Rating 4.5/6

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