Hail, Caesar! Coen brothers’ latest success


The Coen brothers’ newest film, Hail, Caesar!, is a perfect addition to their already eclectic catalogue. The story follows various characters connected to a 1950s movie studio, including George Clooney as a clueless star, Tilda Swinton as twin gossip columnists and Alden Ehrenreich as the good-natured western star Hobie Doyle.

Though Ehrenreich is a relatively new face among such a time-tested group of performers, he holds his own and excels in his scenes with Ralph Fiennes’ character Laurence Laurentz in which Laurence tries, to little avail, to correct Hobie’s accent. Jonah Hill’s character, Joseph Silverman a notary especially trusted by the movie studio, is only featured onscreen once despite his prominent place in advertisements. All the same Hill is very funny and slips into the Coen brothers’ tone of voice very naturally. Josh Brolin stars as Eddie Mannix, a “fixer” who keeps actors and other employees in line so studio production can run smoothly.

Films within the film often change the backdrop but the Coen brothers’ unique humour and characterization draws you into a Burn After Reading-esque story involving kidnapping and communists. Hail, Caesar! is the name of one of the films within the film, starring Clooney’s character Baird Whitlock as a Roman soldier during the time of Jesus Christ.


The production of Hail, Caesar! is enormous and seems to poke fun at movies like Ben-Hur. In a particularly funny scene Eddie hosts a meeting with various religious leaders, including a rabbi with little interest in the story of Jesus, to determine the potential offensiveness of the films’ script.

The atmosphere of the studio becomes more apparent throughout the film as a communist cell that supports the studio extras attempts to blackmail Eddie. Soon after we learn actress DeeAnna Moran, played by Scarlett Johansson, has become pregnant while still single. Eddie must deal with the communists’ demands for cash and discreetly help DeeAnna while keeping the two columnists Thora and Thessaly Thacker off the stories.

Hail, Caesar! has everything from quick witty dialogue to fully choreographed dance numbers.

The film paints an amusing portrait of 1950s Hollywoods relationship with communism and the media.

The image of Clooney, dressed as a Roman centurion, laying on a lawn chair pondering communism or of Swinton following herself into a scene searching for the same scoop both times will leave you laughing your whole way home.