Hail, Caesar

Joel & Ethan Coen, 2016, with Josh Brolin and George Clooney.

A brilliant and amusing film. Lovely pastiches of 1950s Hollywood movies, a great scene between Hobie and Laurence Laurentz that was straight out of Danny Kaye, and matching quiffs for Hobie and Carlotta. Films within a film about cinema as an expression of human delight, ingenuity and that “hunger in [one]self to be more serious”. Even the inept communists, led by Professor Marcuse (crossed with Professor Marcus from The Ladykillers?) are screenwriters (and prefer their cucumber sandwiches with the crusts off). Eddie Mannix is perhaps the darkest character – a kind of confession-going Philip Marlowe who can’t give up the make-believe and duplicity of Hollywood for a regular job that would enable him to see something of his children. The fact that the regular job is with Lockheed and involves atomic bomb testing suggests that perhaps he did do the right thing.

Great fun.

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