Mr Judge rarely wants to accompany me to the movies, but if its a Coen Brothers movie, then that’s different. So there were both were, frocked up to see Hail, Caesar!
Hail, Caesar is like a mash-up of every 1950s Saturday afternoon movie you ever saw. It follows Eddie Mannix, the ‘fixer’ at Capitol Movies over one day as he juggles stars and starlets between movies, sorts out their private lives, soothes egos and fends off the press. All in a day’s work, it seems, including negotiations the ransom of the star of Hail Caesar, a biblical blockbuster when he is kidnapped by Communist Hollywood film writers (yes, Virginia, there really were Communists in Hollywood). In passing, the studio door opens and shuts on Esther-Williamesque swimming sequences, tap-dancing sailors, and a costume drama with an ill-chosen lead actor who is more comfortable in westerns. T’were that it were so simple.
This film reminded me a bit of Monty Python films in that in small snippets it is hilarious, but you’d be hard pressed to find any overarching meaning in the whole thing. I watched it still under the influence of jet-lag and must confess to ‘resting my eyes’ just a little during the film. When it finished, I wondered if it had actually finished, or whether it was going to start again after the credits? Had missed I something crucial that made it hang together? No, it was just a self-referential spoof with a wink. Good fun though, and like Monty Python, may become better known for its parts than for the whole.