Moira+I went along to the Watershed this afternoon to see the Coen brothers’ film “Hail, Caesar!”. It’s essentially a nostalgic, affectionate, tongue-in-cheek (and at times laugh-out-loud funny) look back at the Hollywood of the early 1950s… complete with glorious dance routines, biblical epic filmsets, “wooden” acting, gossip columnists and communist infiltration.
It’s something of a period comedy-cum-farce… and,
although the film has a “plot” (Josh Brolin plays a studio “fixer” who deals
with ensuring any scandals are kept out of the gossip columns; one of the
studios biggest stars, played by toga-wearing George Clooney is kidnapped and
held to ransom…), it’s only used as a bare framework on which to hang lots of
In addition to Brolin and Clooney, the film also features
Tilda Swinton, Scarlett Johansson, Ralph
Fiennes, Channing Tatum, Christopher Lambert and Dolph Lundgren.
I feel sure that the Coen brothers have crammed the film
full of clever references to Hollywood’s golden era and have educated film
buffs purring in the aisles. If so, much of this went over my head, I’m afraid…
The opening paragraph of the Watershed’s blurb describes
the film thus: “The Coen Brothers return
with this giddy technicolour love letter to Hollywood’s Golden Age of the
1950s, a carefree, gorgeously-crafted comedy that is the most fun we’ve had in
years”. Well, I can’t say I absolutely agree with this summary but,
clearly, the cast and the Coen brothers DO appear to have had a wonderful fun
time making the film!
It’s certainly not
a brilliant film (in my view), but it IS pretty good fun and very watchable.
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