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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Hail, Caesar (2016)

This is a tongue in cheek, slapstick as well as goofy movie from the Coen brothers.  Think 'Barton Fink' without all the spooky stuff and not the least bit dark.  It is set in what I would call 1950's Hollywood (but without any of the blacklisting, so maybe late 1940's even), and we follow Eddie Mannix (played with gruffness and charm by Josh Brolin) for a bit over a day as he struggles with a missing actor, a job offer that will set him up for life, and various creative decisions that are emblematic of a time in Hollywood when all filming was done on the back lot and took weeks rather than months to complete with actors who were under contract to the studios.  The Coen brothers go to great lengths to demonstrate that while the threat of Russia may have been very real, that those who belonged to the Communist party were really no threat at all, and they do so in such absurd way that the viewer could easily miss the references and still enjoy the movie.  It is like when Disney does a movie for children, but puts all sorts of references into it that are aimed at adults, so the movie is enjoyable for everyone.  This is the same sort of thing.  The details are voluminous but the movie is enjoyable if one misses each and every one of them.

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