Comedy | Mystery
Joel Coen | Ethan Coen
Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum, Alison Pill, Verónica Osorio, Emily Beecham, Heather Goldenhersh, Wayne Knight, Max Baker, Christopher Lambert, Fred Melamed, Patrick Fischler, David Krumholtz, Fisher Stevens, Alex Karpovsky, Clancy Brown, Robert Picardo, Natasha Bassett, John Bluthal, Dolph Lundgren, Michael Gambon
The film follows a day in the life of Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin), a Hollywood fixer for Capitol Pictures in the 1950s, who cleans up and solves problems for big names and stars in the industry.
Hail, Joel and Ethan! Seriously there's nobody that has such a firm grasp of all - or almost - film genres and knows how to rock them all like the Coen Brothers, and they just did it again this year with "Hail, Caesar!", this great comedy that shows us Hollywood like we have never seen it before.
After reading the storyline I was wondering how fun could the life of a "fixer" be, but I knew the Coens wouldn't have disappointed me, and they haven't. The story indeed has a lot of sense of humour, but what makes the film fun isn't the story, but it's how the Coens are "celebrating" films we have idealized too much, and they are able to be funny in a smart way without being boring. Their love letter to the film industry, to what they do better is what makes this film such a great time.
Now, going back on the plot, it is gripping, and its mystery element will surely keep you glued to the screen until the end which is neither banal nor obvious, and it will probably surprise you as well.
The direction is great as usual, and the screenplay features brilliant, and witty dialogue - although many think otherwise - and quirky, fun characters. The soundtrack is also amazing, and the photography is quite good too.
The cast is probably the best part of the film though. I have to say I was worried it was going to be all about Clooney. Thank God I was wrong. Josh Brolin manages to carry the storyline wonderfully, and isn't overshadowed by Clooney at all. Everybody else is equally great, from Ralph Fiennes - who takes part to one of the most hilarious scenes of the film - to Jonah Hill, to Channing Tatum, to Tilda Swinton. However, there are two actors that stand out: Alden Ehrenreich is absolutely adorable and despite being the least familiar actor, steals the show. The other one is Scarlett Johansson. Words are not enough to describe how it feels like to see her in a different role for once, and she actually does a great job.
Sure, some parts could have been developed better, like the subplot involving Johansson and Hill, and it sure isn't the Coens best work, but ultimately "Hail, Caesar!" is a good film, and definitely worth checking out.