Hail Caesar! has a lot going on. Considered a comedy/satire, it takes place in 1950s when Hollywood was having a rough time because of television as a major competition and the McCathy Era (aka the Cold War era). Directed by the Coen Brothers (Joel and Ethan), known for their wacky, satire films, certainly live up to their reputations for this one. In Hail Caesar!, they try to follow the real life of Eddie Mannix (James Brolin) who is known as “the Fixer” of the film industry. There are several plots which makes the focus a just little difficult.
Eddie has a growing amount of problems that need his attention. Since Eddie works for the production studio, which is in the throws of producing Hail Caesar!, he must get these problems resolved as soon as possible. Actress, Deeanna Morgan (Scarlett Johansson) is pregnant and single. Eddie is resolving her potential scandal by having her adopt her own baby without revealing herself as the biological mother. Braid Whitlock (George Clooney) is starring in the studio’s epic film, Hail Caesar!. Someone drugs and kidnaps him, then sends a ransom note demanding $100,000 dollars for his release, signed by “the Future”. Eddie plans to use the studio’s petty cash to pay them off. Thora and Thessaly Thacker (Tilda Swinton) are twin sisters who have rival gossip columns. They are a constant threat, as they are always hanging around looking for the latest scoop and don’t mind playing dirty to out-do one another or to get the information they want. Currently, Thora is holding info about Whitlock that she plans to release but Eddie is able to hold her off with a promise to give her info on another actor/singer Hobie Doyle (Alden Ehrenreich), who is cast in a drama directed by Laurence Laurentz (Ralph Fiennes). Recently, Laurence has informed Eddie that Hobie’s acting abilities are sub par and he want him replaced but Eddie has convinced Laurence to take Hobie under his wing and make him a better actor.
There are more problems for Eddie and many more stars in Hail Caesar! You can see why it’s a little hard to stay focused. You can get all the plots and answers on DVD/Blu-Ray, if you like this kind of satire and/or the Coen Brothers. I think it’s an okay film to rent!
[Hail Caesar! is nominated for Production Design]