Hail, Caesar

This latest offering from writers/directors Joel and Ethan Coen is not as funny as it could have been, but it is still a very quirky and enjoyable film. The cinematography and mise-en-scene are also beautiful and memorable. A strong cast elevates the film further, led by Josh Brolin as Hollywood studio “fixer” Eddie Mannix (very loosely inspired by the real life studio executive of the 1950s) who tries to keep all the actors in line and cover up their scandals, and George Clooney as the silly blockbuster star who gets kidnapped by Communists. But it is the supporting cast who are most impressive, including Channing Tatum (I am as surprised as you) in a pivotal role as a Gene Kelly type of Hollywood actor, Alden Ehrenreich as the cowboy actor struggling to transition to more dramatic roles, and Tilda Swinton playing comical twin sisters who are competing as journalists for a scoop. Hail, Caesar pokes fun at the old studio system of the 1950s in a clever way, but it is not really a laugh-out-loud comedy.