Hail Caesar! follows a day in the life of Eddie Mannix, a Hollywood fixer for Capitol Pictures in the 1950s, who cleans up and solves problems for big names and stars in the industry. But when studio star Baird Whitlock disappears, Mannix has to deal with more than just the fix.
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A footstomping Technicolor satire poking a razor-sharp stick at Hollywood's soft belly, featuring a cavalcade of today's stars indulging their wildest Busby Berkeley / Cecil B. DeMille fantasies... is what this *could* have been, were it not for the odd sensation that all involved gave up trying half way through. Some fantastic moments, but both script and editing ultimately let it down. Would that it were so simple.
Middle of the road Coen brothers, IMO, but that still means a good measure ahead of other filmmakers. The interaction between Ehrenreich and Fiennes shined through as the funniest/best parts of the film.
Although its great musical scenes (the bar one and the swimming one are trully vintage), Hail Caesar lacks punch. It is very funny sometimes, with all the stereotypes parading through the screen, but it seems lost on its message. Criticizing Hollywood, this one is more like a Hollywood hit than a true statement.
Whilst some sequences are a wonderful homage alluding to Studio System era and Hollywood's behind-the-scenes production processes, it lacks the acerbic edge of the Coens' previous screwball comedies, despite its post-modern acumen and attempts to deconstruct political agendas of the times. Quite the all-star ensemble, and an enjoyable cinematic experience all the same. Neither a classic nor a dud. 2.5
Huge disappointment. It had all the ingredients for a really hilarious subversive screwball, but it fell so short. It never goes deep enough in its ideas, remaining simply a superficial (yet affectionate) homage to Hollywood's Golden Era.
The Coens have often been guilty of overindulgence and this latest entry is certainly guilty on that count. For a film fan there is a lot to enjoy here but the often haphazard and swiftly abandoned moments take away from the overall experience. Best in show is the turn by Alden Ehrenreich and the gorgeous cinematography by Roger Deakins though praise should be given to Josh Brolin for his most focused turn in awhile.
For this will of irony would be necessary an ironic capacity of the dimension of Billy Wilder or Blake Edwards - who were not always immune to error - and not this startled perspective with itself, unable to self-overcome, resulting in something so negligible as if it were a bad remake of a Mel Brooks film, a filmmaker more friendly because much less pretentious. Instead, let's rewatch Stanley Donen's "Movie Movie".
I have a feeling there's a lot to unpack in this otherwise light and reverent Old Hollywood lark. The ensemble structure is somewhat of a new feel for the Coens, and if the pace can feel a bit plodding and narrative intricacies a bit subsumed, I can forgive it for some of the great isolated setpieces it allows the directors to indulge in. A provocative rumination on the value of art(ifice) and its potential cost.