Masters of the movies Joel and Ethan Coen are back with Hail, Caesar! their latest ensemble film starring predominantly Josh Brolin, George Clooney and Alden Ehrenreich among a slew of other famous faces. Hollywood in the 60s, miles of aircraft hangar-sized soundstages organised in barrack-like order wherein various foreign lands and unattainable lifestyles are brought to life by the hottest talent week in week out to wow the masses; the Coens capture the energy of the thousands of people on the production lot whilst comically weaving classic genre drama, western, musical and prestige picture scenes into an uncomplicated, satirical noir.
I’ve mentioned before in my blog that I’m a fan of filmmakers’ films on film itself as I believe the modern filmmaker venting their thoughts into the medium often pushes the boundaries and develops the general understanding about what film can and should do. Therefore Barton Fink is naturally my favourite Coen Brothers flick, a film which reminded me a lot of Fellini’s 8 ½. In Hail, Caesar! the entire process is laid out clear, Brolin is an executive go-getter who basically makes the movies; he’s directly involved in procurement of star-power, management of budget, reviewing dailies and unfortunately when heroically-clad Whitlock (Clooney) disappears.. further procurement of star-power.
The directorial vision translates into a dynamic, versatile and gaily joyous romp around Hollywood with plenty of jokes, in jokes and stereotypically casted blokes. Literally, I think this is the most perfectly typecasted film I’ve ever seen. There’s a scene with a 4 different religious clergyman that aren’t only dressed appropriately but look exactly as you’d expect, the lawyers, the moneymen, the writers, the wives, the assistants – you could basically probably guess the character’s role by looking at their isolated face, incredible casting.
So, definitely see this film if you’re to keep calling yourself a fan of the Coens. Obviously not their best, probably not their worst.