Hail, Ceasar! Review

Hail Cesar

Hail, Caesar! is light fun from the Coen brothers. I can see why it left general audiences cold but I am surprised it only did so-so with critics as this is a full-on film buff movie and satirical love letter to old-school cinema in general. Roger Deakins is essentially God with a Camera – this cannot be argued. Every shot in this film is delicious looking. The big song and dance number fronted by Channing Tatum is absolutely unbelievable in its physical staging and overall choreography. Josh Brolin owns the role of studio fixer Eddie Mannix who has to look into the sudden and alarming disappearance of big-time movie star Baird Whitlock (a droll George Clooney). The central mystery to the narrative is delightfully playful and never at all truly menacing, everyone in the star-studded supporting cast gets their moment to shine (Scarlett Johansson clearly had some major fun), and as usual for the Coens, the entire endeavor feels like something that only they could have pulled off, something that so few filmmakers could ever convince a studio to fund. Oh, and the film is repeatedly stolen by Alden Ehrenreich, who gets the script’s funniest sequence which was highlighted in the trailer, a combat of words with the devilish Ralph Fiennes. This isn’t a game changer like A Serious Man or No Country for Old Men, but rather, an entertaining jaunt that rests near entries like The Hudsucker Proxy and Intolerable Cruelty. Even when the Coens are just riffing, the zest and zeal is still on full display.