Hail, Caesar! (2016)

The golden age of cinema is highlighted in the light-hearted Coen brother feature ‘Hail, Caesar!’

Film Review

1950’s Hollywood, home to Capitol Pictures, holding host to a number or rising stars and high class productions of entertainment and film. Eddie Mannix is in control of putting the multitude of cast and crew in their place and restore order when things don’t turn out the way they were planned. Mannix busily goes about dealing with the disappearance of a leading actor, the love life of a swimmer, the pains of an uncooperative, western thespian among others during this seemingly ordinary day in showbiz.

The overall vibe of noir Hollywood during the 50’s is a very appealing aesthetic when it comes down to portraying narratives in cinema. The production of this piece particularly captures the brilliance of the period and highlights just a few sections of the behind the scenes aspects to creating feature films. Accompanied with thrusting accents and diligent attitudes, the cast is beautifully portrayed across screen, revealing a truthful view on the somewhat ordinary lives of the public figures that are shown behind the scenes as well as in front of the camera.

Not only is the audience exposed to theatrical aspects, yet it also couples in the importance of religion, politics, dispute from press and the hierarchies of the ruthless business these characters find themselves part of. If anything, this feature is a light hearted view to the aspects that advances film, accompanied with minor stories from characters that we don’t get to fully connect with – aside from Mannix himself.

source: Universal Pictures

Unfortunately, because the audience are only subject to observing one day in the industry, we don’t extensively get to see much definite conclusion to these stories. Other than that, my main concern was with how the audience doesn’t get to see much haste when it comes down to the characters’ actions. The narrative lumbers through nicely, yet there is no kind of conventional build up in terms of action or developments in problems. The main predicaments that are brought to attention lie in the issues highlighted from religion and communism forces, yet still, these come across as relatively lightweight.

Despite these considerations, the piece overall was extremely appealing and pleasurable to view, especially to those part of the motion picture industry nowadays. There is satisfying correspondence between the opening and concluding scenes, bringing a well rounded unity to the progression. The cast was brilliantly portrayed throughout, stars such as Scarlett Johansson with her profound gaudy accent, Josh Brolin with his smooth protagonist presence and George Clooney bringing a somewhat oblivious existence all contributed to the credible homage to the gorgeous age of cinema and film.


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