Hail, Caesar! UK Premiere at Glasgow Film Festival 2016 – review Pat Byrne
You can see Hail, Caesar! 4 – 17 March, 2016 at GFT
The Coen Brother’s latest film Hail, Caesar! will have its UK Premiere at this year’s Glasgow Film Festival – it seems all set to get the festival off to an excellent start
The ultimate in offbeat, it has masses of humour and just about perfect casting with Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton and Channing Tatum. Fabulous as all the old hands are, and Clooney is suitably sardonic – Alden Ehrenreich steals the show as Hobie Doyle, the singing cowboy, who finds himself starring in a period drama. It’s not surprising that the trailer for the film shows the scene where the director, Lawrence Laurentz (played by Ralph Fiennes, who is also fantastic), attempts to give Hobie some speech coaching.
There’s no big storyline to draw you in – rather the movie is all about the characters, the period and the location – we’re transported to a rather ridiculous Hollywood of long ago with its big stars, conspiracies, excess, glamour and gossip columns.
We’re not too concerned about the kidnapping of Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) by some communist screenwriters (more idiosyncratic than the activists in Trumbo) and it’s all much too tongue in cheek to worry about Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) and his guilt about hiding his smoking from his wife. There’s some tension as Eddie is faced with the latest big Hollywood movie being held up with Whitlock’s disappearance but you kind of feel that Mannix is tought enough to take anything in his trouble-shooting stride.
Tilda Swinton, playing two almost similar roles as rival journalist sisters, is suitably arch, ambitious and in the know. She also gets the best costumes and along with Scarlett Johansson (DeeAnna Moran), who looks sensational in her glittery green swimsuit, adds to the glamour.
The film is visually very satisfying and there are some stand out scenes, including:
- The dancing sailors in the bar – the choreography is sensational.
- Hobie Doyle’s lassoing demonstration
- The Hollywood Communists meeting with the Russian submarine
- and the truly amazing synchronised swimming.
Not short on imagination and playfulness, Hail, Caesar! is a very stylish and entertaining movie. I think the Coen boys are right on track with this one.
Hope you all enjoy the Glasgow Film Festival.
Pat Byrne, February, 2016
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