HAIL, CAESAR! (PG)
D: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Universal/Working Title (Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Tim Bevan & Eric Fellner)
W: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
DP: Roger Deakins
Ed: Roderick Jaynes
Mus: Carter Burwell
PD: Jess Gonchor
Cos: Mary Zophres
Josh Brolin (Eddie Mannix), George Clooney (Baird Whitlock), Alden Ehrenreich (Hobie Doyle), Ralph Fiennes (Laurence Laurentz), Scarlett Johansson (DeeAnna Moran), Frances McDormand (C.C. Calhoun), Channing Tatum (Burt Gurney), Tilda Swinton (Thora Thacker / Thessaly Thacker)
The Coen Brothers satire on 1950's Hollywood has occasional moments of amusement, as well as some cleverly staged scenes and witty dialogue, but altogether it is a bit of a mess.
Studio fixer Eddie Mannix is the sought after man in Hollywood when it comes to keeping celebrity scandals on the hush-hush, and he has his work cut out when the lead star of a multi-million dollar biblical epic is kidnapped by a group of communists, especially with tabloid gossip twins Thora & Thessaly Thacker doing a fair bit of snooping around the studio backlots.
To make matters worse, unwanted producer involvement recasts a Laurence Olivier style drama with the studios biggest cowboy star, leading to a clash of style between the actor and director.
The Coens' capture the essence of 1950's Hollywood, with an all star cast playing the notable types from the Golden Age. The trouble is that the film crams in too much information and the plot just doesn't marry together in a logical way, but it's still nice to look at due to the cinematography of Roger Deakins, costumes and production design which do justice to the period.
This is a film for fans of the Coen brothers only, and even then, it's more Burn After Reading than it is Fargo.