This movie is like a tribute to Hollywood in the 1950s – there is the autocratic studios (the fictional Capitol Pictures Studios), singing cowboys, dancing sailors, water ballet, Bible epics and powerful gossip columnists. It is at the same time a satire, and a joy to watch.
It is also a delight to watch so many stars in the same movie –
- Josh Brolin (as Eddie mannix, who trouble-shoots, delivers bad news, mends star spats, soothes egos and kills rumours),
- George Clooney (as Baird Whitlock, a Matinee idol who is kidnapped during a shoot),
- Scarlett Johansson (as Dee Anna Moran), star of synchronised swim extravaganzas who has a crisis of reputation),
- Ralph Fiennes (as director Laurence Laurentz, and one of MY idols),
- Tilda Swinton (playing dual roles as sisters who are both gossip columnists about to reveal a career-wrecking piece of information),
- Channing Tatum (as a singing sailor-on-shore-leave) and
- Jonah Hill (as a solicitor).
There are several memorable lines:
- Everyone of us has a little bit of good in us,
- There is unity in division and division in unity.
- All the writers write but their works are owned by the studios.
- It’s nice to be wanted.
- People don’t want the facts. They want to believe.
The biggest bonus is the music. There are so many beautiful songs and nice music (whether sung a capella, by a choir, or played by a solo instrument like the cello, or by the entire orchestra) that I lost count. Three that left the deepest impression on me are
- Jacques Offenbach’s Bacarolle from Tales of the Hoffman,
- Lehar’s The Merry Widow Waltz and
- Billy Hill’s song, The Glory Of Love.