An acute observer of Hollywood might say that a film’s success might rely on the reputation of the stars of the film.
In the new Coen Brothers film, Hail, Caesar, Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) is what is known around Hollywood as a “fixer”. His job is to make sure that his movie stars always have a spotless reputation. For his stars to keep that spotless reputation, Eddie may have to fudge a few facts or pay off a few people. That means that his hands are always full.
First there is the missing leading man, Baird Whitlock (George Clooney), star of the Roman epic with the religious message, Hail Caesar. Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich) is the singing cowboy who suddenly switches genres and finds himself in the lead role of a sophisticated drawing-room drama with Lawrence Laurentz (Ralph Fiennes) directing. DeeAnna Moran (Scarlett Johansson) is the Esther Williams like star who finds herself in the family way without a husband. Not quite the ideal situation for a woman in the early 1950’s. Burt Gurney (Channing Tatum) is the Gene Kelly like triple threat actor/singer /dancer.
If dealing with the talent is not enough of a headache, Eddie is also dealing with the twin gossip columnists Thora and Thessaly Thacker (Tilda Swinton), who try to pretend that each is the only gossip game in town.
I wanted to see this movie because I adore movies from this era. In a satirical wink, wink, nudge, nudge to not just the films, but the politics of the early 1950’s, The Coen Brothers show that Hollywood and politics has not changed at all in 60 years. I went because the trailer was very funny. The film does not live up the trailer, sadly.
Do I recommend? Maybe.