By SJ Otto
I just saw the movie Hail Caesar! and I must say it was entertaining. It is based on the day in the life of a
Hollywood studio executive, Eddie
Brolin) and the various films he is involved in. It's a strange movie with
plenty of laughs and a great deal of satire and some of that is hard to see if
the viewer is not really looking for it.
On of the most interesting part of the film is a plot by a communist cell to kidnap one of the studios top actors, Baird Whitlock (George Clooney). by screen writers who have been black listed during the red scare. The cell is headed by none other than a fictionalize version of Herbert Marcuse (John Bluthal). The character is even made to look like the real one. The dialog seems like something out of a Woody Allen movie with discussions of dialectics. There is also the scene of someone looking at a communist party card with the name Gus Hall on it.
The rest of the movie is full of quick scenes drawn together only by the fact that Mannix works for Capitals Studios. There is an aquatic musical star DeeAnna Moran (Scarlett Johansson) is newly pregnant, which is making her mermaid costume painful to wear, and she is not interested in marrying the father. This is at a time (somewhere in the 1950s) when such a scandal could really hurt a movie star. There is a singing cowboy Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich) going from B-western star to romantic comedy leading man. A pair of twin gossip columnists (both played by Tilda Swinton) are demanding answers to awkward questions and threatening to go public with an awkward story about the studio’s biggest matinee idol. Mannix works for a guy named Scank. Another funny named character is Burt Gurney (Channing Tatum). This is probably one of Joel and Ethan Coen's better movies in the last decade.
It's weird and quirky, but it is worth the money to see it.